Ziyech hits first Chelsea goal as Blues beat Krasnodar in Champions League

Chelsea TEAMtalk

Chelsea picked up the first win of their Champions League campaign with a convincing 4-0 win over FC Krasnodar in Russia. 

Having drawn 0-0 with Sevilla at Stamford Bridge last Tuesday, the Blues were keen to collect three points against their Russian opponents to get their European season properly up and running.

And they were given an early opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty after Timo Werner was fouled in the box.

However, the usually reliable Jorginho hit the post with his spot kick before seeing Krasnodar scramble the ball to safety.

Tonny Vilhena nearly punished the Premier League side for that miss on the 20 minute mark but his deflected effort rolled just wide of the post.

But the Blues did take the lead shortly before half time through Hudson-Odoi, whose low shot proved too hot to handle for Matvei Safonov and squirmed into the net.

Frank Lampard’s side carried that lead into the break, but almost lost it just ten minutes into the second half when Yury Gazinsky struck the crossbar with a side-footed attempt after being picked out from a corner.

The Russians continued to put pressure on Chelsea’s slender lead and created another chance for Yevgeni Chernov, but the defender could not get his volley on target to trouble Edouard Mendy.

Edouard Mendy Chelsea TEAMtalk

Hakim Ziyech, making his first Chelsea start since moving from Ajax, could have made things more comfortable for the London club when he was found in space inside the Krasnodar box, however he hit scuffed his shot into the arms of Safonov.

With the Blues looking far from comfortable, Lampard made a triple change with 20 minutes remaining as he attempted to see out the game. Christian Pulisic, N’golo Kante and Msson Mount were introoduced from the substitutes bench.

And within minutes Pulisic won a second penalty of the match for Chelsea when his shot was hit the arm of defender Aleksandr Martynovich.

With Jorginho now off the field, Timo Werner stepped up to take it and emphatically put it way, smashing the ball down the middle and giving the goalkeeper no chance to react.

Three minutes later Ziyech opened his Chelsea account by firing across the ‘keeper and finding the bottom right corner after good work from Pulisic and Werner down the left.

Having been involved in two goals after coming on, Pulisic capped a fine cameo appearance when he got on the scoresheet himself, tucking the ball through the legs of Safonov to add some shine to the result.

The win takes Chelsea top of group E with Sevilla and Rennes set to go head-to-head later this evening.