Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv: One foot in quarter-finals for Sarri's men
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv: One foot in quarter-finals for Sarri's men

Goals from Pedro, Willian and Hudson-Odoi were the difference for Chelsea as they completely dominated the Ukrainian side.

nestorwatach
Nestor Watach

Chelsea are all but through to the Europa League quarter-finals as goals from Pedro, Willian and late substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi gave them a deserved 3-0 over young Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv.

The Blues dominated possession and territory and could have had a healthy lead by half-time as a lively performance proved too much for the visitors. 

Pedro's first-half goal was the difference at the break, but Chelsea were more clinical in the second half as they killed the tie completely with a third goal in injury time.

Story of the match: Chelsea a class apart

Sarriball is often accused of being unimaginative, full of sideways passing and sterile possession. That's often been the case for Chelsea in the early stages of this competition as moments of quality have punctuated largely lackadaisical showings, but that wasn't the case here against Dynamo.

Ross Barkley completed 100% of his passes in the first half, and plenty of them were driven forward with purpose as he looked to pull Dynamo's low block out of shape. 

The visitors had already been given multiple warnings by the time Chelsea opened the scoring after 17 minutes, when Olivier Giroud - ever-reliable in this competition - collected a pass from Pedro before sensationally returning him the ball by backheeling it through Artem Shabanov’s legs. 

Running free into the six-yard box, Pedro couldn't miss, which was also looked the case for the many subsequent chances that fell his way. Fortunately for Dynamo, Denys Boyko was well-positioned to deny him each time, while the former Barcelona forward could have tripled his tally before half-time. 

Whilst Dynamo failed to offer more than the occasional counter-attack and half chance, Maurizio Sarri looked visibly frustrated in his technical area as Chelsea started to lose their impetus in the second half.

He responded by introducing N'Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Barkley and Jorginho, and shortly after the hosts doubled the lead as Willian sent in an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner. Sergiy Sydorchuk had taken down Loftus-Cheek for the 25-yard shooting opportunity.

The Ukrainian side finally enjoyed their best spell in the final 15 minutes, but they failed to test Kepa Arrizabalaga with a single shot on target, and as they sent more men forward the game became stretched and Chelsea were able to create more chances.

Hudson-Odoi, who had been introduced for the final 13 minutes,  added the third when he was given time and space to shoot inside the Dynamo box. 

Takeaways from the match

Even at the last 16, the Europa League is ludicrously stratified

Chelsea exerted complete control from kick-off as it soon became apparent that Aleksandr Khatskevich's young Dynamo were a mismatch for a side as expensively assembled as Chelsea. 

Nothing represented this more as David Luiz spread trademark cross-field balls into the path of Pedro, who showed perfect technique to bring them down every time. The pair have five major European trophies between them, while five of Dynamo's starting XI were under the age of 23 and untested at such a level. 

Ajax's victory against Real Madrid, the first team from outside Europe's top five leagues to eliminate them since Valeriy Lobanovskiy's legendary Dynamo side of 1999, showed that the concept of parity isn't completely dead in European football. But inevitable formalities like this show it's on life support.

Chelsea all but through into the quarters - will Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek get opportunities?

Chelsea won't be able to dictate the tempo to the same extent next week at the Olympiyskiy, but with a three-goal advantage and the tools to add a killer away goal, they're effectively through. 

Loftus-Cheek had won the free-kick for Chelsea's second and teed off Hudson-Odoi for the third. The two substitutes gladly took their opportunities and would be worthy of a place in the starting XI for the second leg.

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