Chelsea took a major step towards reaching the Europa League’s last eight with a dominant 3-0 victory over Dynamo Kyiv at Stamford Bridge.
Hosts Chelsea secured the advantage, with wingers Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi all getting on the scoresheet.
Maurizio Sarri’s side included seven changes from the team that beat Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage during Sunday’s west London derby in the Premier League, with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard all starting on the bench.
The Blues will face Dynamo in the second leg next Thursday in Kyiv.
Here is how the Blues’ players rated on a night that they earned an important advantage heading into next week’s return meeting.
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga
Had little to do on his Europa League return but showed the same calmness that he has expressed all season. 6
Right-back: Davide Zappacosta
Making his first start for almost two months in all competitions, the Italian full-back showed a desire to get forward but struggled to deliver any end product. 6
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen
On his second start in west London in as many matches, Andreas Christensen once again proved that Sarri now has a fantastic option that he can rely on whenever he wants to spare either Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz. 7
Centre-back: David Luiz
The Brazilian was made captain for the night and at centre-back, played a number of long passes forward that kept their Ukrainian opposition second-guessing. It was his first time captaining the club on his 234th appearance for them. 7
Left-back: Marcos Alonso
Returned to the side in place of Emerson having missed out of a regular run of games in recent weeks. Marcos Alonso was able to show his attacking intent and he also came close to scoring in both halves, but lacked the pace that Emerson regularly expresses. 6
Centre-midfield: Mateo Kovacic
When given the chance, the Croatian drove at the visiting midfield, drawing a couple of fouls. 6
A surprise inclusion in the starting side and the Italian international dictated play well at the base of Chelsea’s three-man midfield. 6
Centre-midfield: Ross Barkley
Contributed at both ends of the pitch and showed some nice touches in attacking moves. Like Jorginho, he was substituted just after the hour mark. 6
Right-wing: Pedro (man of the match)
The Spaniard was majestic throughout, especially in the first half, tormenting the Dynamo defence on so many occasions. He could have had at least a hat-trick and he probably should have done too. Sarri’s experienced winger also orchestrated the move which led to Hudson-Odoi’s late strike. 8
Striker: Olivier Giroud
Chelsea’s top goalscorer in this competition was unable to convert for a sixth consecutive Europa League match, but his hold up play was excellent, as was his skill to create Pedro’s opener. 7
Willian showed runs of blistering pace throughout and midway through the second half, re-created his own free-kick against Dynamo from the Champions League in 2015 in stunning style. It was his 23rd career appearance against Dynamo and his 15th time on the winning side. 7
Substitute: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Had one dazzling exchange with Pedro in the final eight minutes where he would have hoped to have scored but made amends shortly after, playing the providing role in Hudson-Odoi’s goal. 6
Substitute: N’Golo Kante
Made some nice runs, showing that he is by no means a defensive-minded replacement. 6
Substitute: Callum Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea fans finally got their wish to see Callum Hudson-Odoi come on as a 78th minute replacement for Willian, his 15th senior competitive appearance of the campaign. He made the most of his 12-minute cameo with a great goal on the stroke of full time. 6