Kai Havertz and Jorginho were among those who impressed as Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 win over Malmo at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea were on the money right from the get-go, and nearly grabbed the lead through Romelu Lukaku, who had a deflected effort well saved by Johan Dahlin. The Malmo goalkeeper, though, could not do anything when Andreas Christensen broke the deadlock in the ninth minute with a classy finish from Thiago Silva’s cross.
Shortly after, Chelsea were two to the good, as Jorginho converted from the spot after Lasse Nielsen fouled Lukaku inside the box. The challenge also spelled the end of Lukaku’s night and in 20 minutes, his strike partner Timo Werner would also hobble off the pitch due to a similar injury.
Lukaku and Werner’s replacements, Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, would then combine for Chelsea’s third just a couple of minutes into the second half, as the former dinked the ball over Ismael Diawara after being sent through by Hudson-Odoi. The win was then rounded off before the hour mark arrived, as Jorginho converted yet another penalty after Antonio Rudiger was fouled.
Chelsea then controlled the proceedings without really getting out of second gear thereafter, as they completed the 4-0 win to return to winning ways in the UEFA Champions League. With Juventus beating Zenit St Petersburg, the Blues remain second in Group H, three points adrift of the Italian giants. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
Mendy was incredibly busy last time out against Brentford. This outing versus Malmo, though, was the polar opposite, as the Senegalese goalkeeper did not have a save to make and kept the easiest clean sheet of his career.
Andreas Christensen: 8/10
It was a long wait but the finish made it well worth it for Christensen, who volleyed home from Thiago Silva’s cross to score his maiden Chelsea goal. For the rest of the game, the Danish defender was largely untroubled and snuffed out the rare dangerous plays that Malmo looked to create from his side.
🔵 When you score your first goal for Chelsea…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 20, 2021
Thiago Silva: 8/10
Back in the starting lineup, Silva needed just this kind of game to get his rhythm back. While at it, the Brazilian international even grabbed an assist along the way, playing a curling cross that was converted by Christensen. Helped control the proceedings, winning four duels, but never really looked troubled.
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
Chelsea might not have been too troubled at the back, but Rudiger still played a key role in ensuring the danger remained away from Edouard Mendy on the off chance that Malmo threatened. Won five duels while completing 90 percent of his attempted passes. Won the second penalty that was converted by Jorginho.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6/10
The two Chelsea wing-backs – as well as the players who replaced them – simply cruised through the game on Wednesday. As for Azpilicueta, this was a chance for him to take some of the burden off of him, easing through before being taken off in the 66th minute. Still won each of his ground duels while completing three tackles.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
One of the easiest outings of his career for Kante, but one could still see him running around all over the park relentlessly. Rarely lost the ball when finding a teammate and even played a couple of key passes. Helped avert the danger higher up the pitch and won six duels.
A top class performance by Jorginho, who was cool as a cucumber from the spot, grabbing two goals that helped seal the deal for Chelsea. Otherwise, the Italian international settled into his defensive midfield role with ease, controlling the proceedings alongside Kante and Mason Mount.
Jorginho made 8 tackles against Malmö, more than any player managed in a single game in MD3 of the Champions League.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 20, 2021
Mason Mount: 8/10
Back in the starting lineup, Mount, who was the Player to Watch in our preview, pulled the strings effortlessly, spending more time in advanced positions than in midfield due to the nature of the game. Played a joint game-high three key passes while even having a shot blocked once. Looking sharp again.
Ben Chilwell: 6/10
Coming into the game on the back of a fine performance against Brentford, Chilwell was oozing confidence and understandably so. However, against Malmo, the English international never really got out of second gear, because he did not really need to. Cruised through and will now turn his attention towards the Norwich City game.
Timo Werner: 6/10
As ever, Werner was an energetic presence high up the pitch for Chelsea and worked incredibly hard to carve open the spaces for Mason Mount to work around. However, like strike partner Romelu Lukaku, his night was cut short by an injury as well, and Tuchel will be sweating over the fitness of the duo.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
A frustrating game for Lukaku. Tuchel had already asserted that the Belgian powerhouse might be mentally tired heading into the game but his outing lasted just 23 minutes as a heavy challenge forced him to hobble off the pitch, with Kai Havertz coming in for him. Did win a penalty that was converted by Jorginho before departing, though.
Kai Havertz: 8/10
On for Lukaku, this was perhaps Havertz’s audition to reprise the centre forward role in the next few games and he passed with flying colours. The German international showed impeccable movement and nearly scored a goal in the first half. Did not make a mistake in finding the back of the net post the interval, with his dinked finish being sumptuous. Job well done.
That Havertz x Hudson-Odoi connection ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/2qGfgqqYpR
— Goal (@goal) October 20, 2021
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 7/10
A bright spark off the bench. This was Hudson-Odoi’s chance to impress and that is exactly what he did as well. Ought to have finished a chance that was bestowed on him in the second half but still manage to stand out with his energetic forays from the left flank. His pass to set Havertz up for his goal for delightful.
Saul Niguez: 6/10
Making a rare appearance off the bench, Saul enabled Chelsea in retaining their control of the game, rarely losing the ball cheaply. Worked hard off the ball as well, winning five duels.
Reece James: 6/10
Making his return from an injury, James eased back into action with the most ideal of games and kept things simple in the dying embers of the game.
Marcos Alonso: 7/10
On for Chilwell, Alonso was one of the more creative outlets in the final quarter of the game, laying on three key passes. A decent enough cameo.