Champions League: Chelsea overwhelms 10-man Rennes

Chelsea eases to a 3-0 win over Rennes; Timo Werner converts two spot-kicks and Tammy Abraham scores the third.

Timo Werner celebrates after scoring the opening goal on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge. - AP

Chelsea eased to a 3-0 win over 10-man Rennes in the Champions League Group E on Wednesday, thanks to two first-half penalties hammered home by striker Timo Werner and a tap-in by Tammy Abraham.

MATCH CENTRE

The match swung the way of the Londoners with the two penalty decisions which both went against Rennes defender Dalbert Henrique, on loan from Inter Milan. The Brazilian was shown a second yellow card and sent off in the 40th minute, after a long VAR check, when the ball ricocheted from his calf to his arm, having earned his first caution for tripping Werner in the box after 10 minutes.

Werner converted both spot-kicks emphatically, taking the role of Chelsea’s penalty-taker from Jorginho who missed two earlier this season.

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“I am happy, I am happy Jorginho is cool with it. It is another point that speaks for our team, we are not selfish. We all go in one direction which is good,” Werner told BT Sport.

Abraham made it 3-0 five minutes into the second half with a short-range finish after an inch-perfect cross by Reece James.

'Very good game'

The comfortable victory left Chelsea top of Group E, ahead of Sevilla of Spain on goal difference, with three of the six games played. It also represented a fifth clean sheet in a row for the Blues who appear to have fixed the defensive frailties that dogged them last season and in the opening games of this campaign.

 

“We had a very good game today,” Werner said. “Also good for me is we had one more player on the pitch and could control it from behind.”

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, bought from Rennes in September to replace the out-of-form Kepa Arrizabalaga, had little to do against his former team-mates until the 84th minute when he parried a shot by Clement Grenier. “O.K., the referee gives the second penalty but I think the red card was tough because he didn’t do it on purpose. We continued to work hard but that was tough for us,” Rennes midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud said.

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Havertz is now likely to miss Germany’s three upcoming games during the international break.

The Germans play the Czech Republic in a friendly next week, followed by Nations League group games against Ukraine and Spain.

Sevilla beats Krasnodar

Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri came off the bench to fire his side to a courageous 3-2 home win over Krasnodar in the Champions League on Wednesday as the Spaniards turned the game around with 10 men after captain Jesus Navas was sent off.

A free kick from Shapi Suleymanov in the 17th minute and a Marcus Berg penalty four minutes later got the Russians off to a dream start but Sevilla hit back through Ivan Rakitic before the break.

Sevilla had been awarded an early penalty that was taken away following a VAR review and it endured yet another setback late in a frenetic first half when Navas was shown a straight red card for a reckless foul on Kristoffer Olsson. But Julen Lopetegui’s side came out fighting in the second period and playing with 10 men hardly affected its ambition or ability to carve out chances.

Rakitic hit the crossbar before En-Nesyri levelled in the 69th minute after pouncing on a gift from Krasnodar defender Kaio. The Moroccan striker grabbed another goal moments later to complete an extraordinary comeback from the Europa League holder, reacting fastest when a cross from Rakitic came off the post and turning it into the net.

The victory kept Sevilla second in Group E and took it on to seven points, level with leader Chelsea and six ahead of Krasnodar and Stade Rennais.

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