Chelsea are leading Dynamo Kiev 1-0 in at Stamford Bridge in their latest Champions League group stage match after 45 minutes in which they have been clearly the better side.
The game began brightly for the Blues and they fashioned the first sight on goal after two minutes when Ramires’ shot hit Diego Costa after the Spain international won a corner. The home side had the majority of the possession in the opening five minutes and used width more intelligently than they have down in recent weeks. Oscar had a shot saved by Shokovskiy having received the ball in the box from the right side.
Chelsea continued to apply pressure on Dynamo Kiev, their recent habit of starting games quickly evident once again. Both Azpilicueta and Baba got forward routinely, the latter venturing into the Kiev area just after the quarter hour mark but lost out. The on running Willian couldn’t quite make contact with a Oscar cut back from the far left side. The best chance came following a Willian free-kick in which the ball was out back into the box from the right side and not put in the goal by either Oscar, who couldn’t reach it in time as it drifted across the goal, or Costa who volleyed high and wide from eight yards out.
Chelsea were rewarded for their high pressing game just a few minutes later however, and they did so with a bit of luck that has eluded them this season. A mis-kicked clearance from Begovic found Baba who pushed forward and passed to Willian. The Brazil international, the author of almost everything good Chelsea have done this season, ran quickly down the right and put the ball in at pace which the hapless Dragovic put into his own goal from just outside the six yard box.
Chelsea’s approach play thereafter was good- all the star players present seemingly past their alarming dip in form. Fabaregas had the ball on the by-line but couldn’t find a teammate in the box as Chelsea did not, thankfully, sit back on their first half lead in the disasterous way they did against Liverpool on Saturday. Oscar had a shot from the edge of the box that curled about a yard wide seconds after.
Diego Costa had an apparently strong appeal for a penalty turned down just before the break when he ran into the box sandwiched between the two Kiev centre backs. On further inspection it is clear there was little if any contact and Costa should consider himself lucky to not have been booked for diving.
Chelsea should perhaps have more than one goal considering all the possession they have had, but it is a relief to see them get the halfway stage of a match in the lead. They have not backed off having scored the goal and have looked relatively comfortable at the back. They must still be aware of the danger the visitors possess. Now that they have the goal they can and should continue to play with freedom and should win the game easily from here. Anything else will be another huge disappointment.
CHELSEA – Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Diego Costa
Subs: Blackman, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Hazard, Pedro, Remy
Manager: José Mourinho
Scorers: Dragovic OG (34)
DYNAMO KYIV – Shovkovskiy, Antunes, Dragovic, Vida, Khacheridi, Sydorchuk, Rybalka, González, Buyalskiy, Yarmolenko, Kravets
Subs: Morales, Veloso , Garmash, Morozyuk, Petrovic, Gusev, Rybka
Manager: Serhiy Rebrov