4th of November 2015

Pedro back to action in crucial win at The Bridge (2-1)

A brilliant late free-kick from Willian moves the Blues above Dynamo Kiev into second place in Group G. Five minutes after Aleksandr Dragovic had levelled for the visitors - cancelling out the own goal he had inadvertently netted in the first half - Willian dipped a glorious 25-yard set-piece over the wall and into the net securing three important home Champions League points. Pedro was back to action in the last stages of the game, some minutes before the brazilian’s decider. The Tenerife-born winger and Hazard boosted the attacking power of the side leading to a crucial Champions League win at The Bridge.

It was a deserved outcome for Jose Mourinho‘s men who dominated for long spells against dogged opposition. When adversity stuck 12 minutes from time Blues didn’t let their heads drop, piling the pressure on and getting the winner from another wonderful Willian free-kick, his fifth of this campaign and third in Europe alone.

Chelsea will look to build on this positive result at Stoke on Saturday, the final game before the November international break.

Nemanja Matic returned to the starting XI as did Cesc Fabregas for his 100th European club appearance. The Spaniard was deployed in the number 10 role between Willian and Oscar. Eden Hazard was on the bench.

Baba Rahman came in at left-back for his second straight home Champions League start,Gary Cahill the man making way. Cesar Azpilicueta shifted to right-back with Kurt Zouma coming inside to partner John Terry.

Ramires was making his 200th Chelsea start and had a couple of early shots to try and break the deadlock, as he had done at the weekend. The first resulted in some penalty-box pinball after a corner wasn’t cleared; the second had the sting taken out of it by a flying Dynamo block and was easy for Olexandr Shovkovskiy.

Oscar‘s shot from closer in soon after was well-met but again too central to test the visiting keeper, but it had been a truly bright start from the Blues in front of an appreciative and supportive Stamford Bridge crowd.

They saw the Dynamo players commit plenty of fouls over the course of the evening. Derlis Gonzalez was booked on 26 minutes after one too many, and not long after that Willian had the chance to swing over a trademark free-kick from wide on the left. After his first delivery was cleared he got the ball back and swung a deep cross in, finding Fabregas. He nearly picked Oscar out at the back post, but a strong clearing header from Dragovic denied the Brazilian an easy finish.

The blonde-haired Dynamo no.6’s work was not so effective five minutes later. The ever-threatening Willian created a yard of space for himself and whipped a teasing cross in the direction of Diego Costa. Dragovic stretched to cut it out before it reached the striker, but all he could do was divert the ball past his own keeper and into the net. Our dominance had been rewarded 10 minutes before the break.

With a minute of the first half remaining Diego Costa went down in the box after receiving a shove from Dragovic but his appeals fell on deaf ears, much to Jose Mourinho‘s frustration.

Dynamo had posed little attacking threat but enjoyed their best spell of the game in the opening stages of the second half. Artem Kravets raced clear of our backline but there was Zouma making up ground at speed to execute a perfect sliding tackle before the Ukrainian international could shoot.

Andriy Yarmolenko - the away side’s main threat but kept quiet for the most part - then had a cross deflected beyond Begovic’s far post. At the other end Willian headed a Diego Costacentre too close to Shovkovskiy.

Dynamo sub Junior Moraes stung Begovic’s palms from outside the box as the goalmouth action continued. On the hour, Zouma stretched to volley Willian‘s wicked free-kick into the net, but the ball agonisingly bounced past the wrong side of the post.

On the counter Willian dragged a shot wide after another run from deep. From the resulting goal-kick Oscar pinched possession, exchanged passes with Fabregas and forced a fine diving stop from Shovkovskiy.

Domagoj Vida headed just wide from a corner but Blues didn’t heed that set-piece warning. Begovic fumbled a Terry header behind and then was beaten to the punch by Matic; his header flicked to the back-post where Dragovic atoned for his earlier mistake, volleying into the net via a slight deflection.

Mourinho, whose name was sung at regular intervals, sent Hazard and Pedro on immediately. The former was fouled 25 yards from goal, left of centre. It was Willian territory and what followed was special. He curled his free-kick over the wall and with such venom the diving Shovkovskiy didn’t stand a chance.

Hazard had two late incisive runs, ending with a cross not quite converted and a shot into the side-netting, but a third goal was not needed meaning the Blues could celebrate a hard-fought but well-deserved home win.


- Match stats:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry (c), Baba Rahman; Ramires, Matic;Willian ( Cahill 90+1), Fabregas (Pedro 77), Oscar (Hazard 77); Diego Costa.
Unused subs Blackman, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Remy .

Scorers Dragovic (own goal) 34, Willian 82

Dynamo Kiev (4-2-3-1): Shovkovskiy (c); Vida, Khacheridi, Dragovic, Antunes; Sydorchuk (Garmash h/t), Rybalka; Yarmolenko, Buyalskiy, Gonzalez; Kravets (Junior Moraes 56).
Unused subs Rybka, Veloso, Petrovic, Gusev.

Scorer Dragovic 78

Booked Gonzalez 26, Antunes 59, Buyalskiy 71
Crowd 41,241

Referee Pavel Kralovec

- Match report by chelseafc.com

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