Chelsea 3 Dynamo Kiev 0: Sarri's side in driving seat

Chelsea strolled to a third consecutive win in all competitions as it brushed aside a poor Dynamo Kiev outfit at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's Pedro celebrates against Dynamo Kiev   -  Getty Images

Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi helped Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in its Europa League last-16 first-leg tie on Thursday.

Maurizio Sarri's side dominated throughout and, despite missing a host of opportunities in the first half, ended up with a commanding advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Ukraine.

Pedro's first Europa League goal of the campaign set it on its way after 17 minutes before Willian doubled its advantage with a superb free-kick in the 65th minute.

Substitute Hudson-Odoi then whipped in a third in the 90th minute as Sarri's men strolled to a third consecutive win in all competitions in the most comfortable of fashions.

After a bright start, Chelsea forged ahead in the 17th minute thanks to sublime play from Olivier Giroud.

 

The Frenchman collected Pedro's pass and picked out the Spaniard's subsequent surge into the penalty area with a superb flick, the former Barcelona man then sliding through Denys Boyko's legs from eight yards.

An unmarked Pedro should have doubled the Blues' advantage three minutes later but fired straight at Boyko from just six yards, while Ross Barkley was denied by the Dynamo goalkeeper's legs soon after.

Boyko brilliantly repelled Pedro's volley and Marcos Alonso saw an effort deflected narrowly wide as Chelsea threatened to pull out of sight before half-time.

Willian ensured those misses were not too costly, however, whipping a superb free-kick into Boyko's top-right corner from 25 yards in the 65th minute to double the Blues' lead.

Alonso flashed wide and Ruben Loftus-Cheek clipped over before Hudson-Odoi coolly slotted past Boyko late on to ensure Chelsea travels to Ukraine next week with one foot in the quarterfinals.

What does it mean? Sarri steadies the ship                        

Few would have given Sarri a chance of still being in charge for this game a few weeks ago, but the Italian has well and truly weathered the storm.  

He came out of the Kepa Arrizabalaga fiasco in the EFL Cup final with his reputation not just intact, but arguably enhanced, and has now overseen three consecutive wins in all competitions. 

Pedro too dynamic for Dynamo 

The 31-year-old was unplayable in the first half, pulling Dynamo's defenders all over the pitch. He got Chelsea on its way early on with a cool finish and only failed to finish with a hat-trick courtesy of a combination of wayward finishing and inspired goalkeeping.

Barkley fails to sparkle

With competition for places in Chelsea's midfield never greater, the England international will consider this an opportunity missed. He shot straight at Boyko from a promising position in the first half and scarcely featured again before his departure just after the hour mark.

Key Opta facts

- Chelsea has scored in each of its last 36 European games at Stamford Bridge, since a 1-0 defeat against Manchester United in quarter finals of the 2010-11 Champions League.
- Dynamo Kiev has never won a European match on English soil, with the Ukrainians drawing three and losing 12 of its 15 previous visits.
- Chelsea has scored four goals via direct free-kicks in the Europa League this season, three more than any other side.
- Dynamo Kiev has not won any of its last 10 first-leg knockout matches in the Europa League (D6 L4).

What's next?

Chelsea returns to Premier League action on Sunday when Wolves travels to Stamford Bridge, while Dynamo faces a domestic derby against Arsenal Kiev on the same day.

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