Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of the Europa League
last-16 first leg between Chelsea
and Dynamo Kiev
at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have won seven of their eight European matches this term and have been backed as the favourites to go all the way and lift the trophy, just like they did in their only previous participation in 2012.
Dynamo made it this far by finishing above Rennes in the group phase and holding off Olympiacos over two legs in the first knockout round, meanwhile, though they are winless in their last nine first-leg knockout matches in this competition.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: Kepa; Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Willian
SUBS: Caballero, Rudiger, Kante, Hazard, Higuain, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi
DYNAMO KIEV TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: Boyka; Kedziora, Burda, Shabanov, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk, Shepelev; Tsygankov, Shaparenko, Buyalskiy; Rusyn
SUBS: Tsitaishvili, Kadar, Smyrnyi, Harmash, Bushchan, Sidcley, Andrievsky
KICKOFF: Chelsea, showing six changes from their 2-1 win at Fulham last Sunday, get us underway in West London!
The home side have made a positive start to the match. Luiz sprays the ball out to Pedro and the Spaniard wins his side a corner, from which the ball bounces around in the area before being launched clear.
Some more positive play from Chelsea, this time towards the right-hand side, but Zappacosta is unable to hold his run and is flagged for offside.
Kiev have been penned into their own half of the field, which is not a good sign. Of the six changes made by Maurizio Sarri
today, Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante have dropped down to the bench. Sarri needed to rotate tonight, but he was not willing to leave two of his key men out of the squad entirely.
The early signs suggest that this will be a training exercise for the home side - attack against defence. Kiev have barely put together a pass yet, focusing entirely on getting bodies back behind the ball.
YELLOW CARD! Jorginho, coming into this match on the back of an impressive showing against Fulham, tries to loft the ball over the top but Pedro cannot quite get on the end of it. A breakdown in communication at the back almost allowed Chelsea in moments later, but the visitors just about recovered. Shepelev is cautioned for a mistimed tackle on Zappacosta.
Kiev's players are looking nervy. They try to play it out from the back and play themselves straight into danger. Barkley takes the ball past two players when the odds are stacked against him, before settling for a corner kick. Willian fizzes it right through the box after a one-two with Pedro.
Dynamo finally manage to get hold of the ball in the opposition half - maybe this match won't be quite as one-sided after all! Rusyn wins a free kick from Alonso and it is swung into a dangerous position, before being scrambled clear by a player in blue.
Normal service is resumed as Zappacosta is played into some space down the right - Chelsea's best route to goal - and wins a corner. The referee warns Shabanov not to wrap his arms around Giroud. The ball is nowhere near the Frenchman, being cleared by a Kiev player before it can reach him.
Chelsea are up to 76% in terms of possession but, tellingly, they have not had a shot on or off target so far. The same is true for Dynamo, though they would happily accept a 0-0 draw from this first leg.
GOAL! CHELSEA 1-0 DYNAMO KIEV (PEDRO)
Chelsea find a breakthrough from their first attempt of the evening. Pedro, who has swapped wings to come out to the left, exchanges passes with targetman Giroud in the box and tucks the ball through the legs of Boyko.
Chelsea are facing Dynamo for a third time, winning one and drawing one of the two previous meetings during the group stages of the 2015-16 Champions League. They are well on course to add another victory to their tally, but Sarri will want more than just a one-goal margin to take to Ukraine.
CHANCE! Chelsea should have a second. Pedro, who bagged the opener five minutes ago, is picked out by Willian after a couple of Dynamo players fail to deal with Willian's cross. From close range, though, the Spanish wideman fires right at Boyko.
The visitors are enjoying their best spell of possession so far - it is their only spell on the ball so far, in truth! They get nowhere fast, but there are signs that Alyaksandr Khatskevich
's men are starting to settle into the match.
SAVE! This is a good save from Boyko, who is being tested more frequently since Chelsea opened the scoring. Barkley shows good movement to get in behind and he only has the Kiev keeper to beat, but Boyko saves with his feet at his near post. Good pass from Kovacic to set his teammate up.
Giroud is flagged for offside when trying to get on the end of Jorginho's latest attempted through-ball.
Nearly half an hour played at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are looking very comfortable. The biggest disappointment for Sarri will be that his side have only one goal to show for their dominance, having also created good chances for Barkley and Pedro since the latter opened the scoring.
PENALTY APPEAL! Chelsea have a penalty appeal rejected by the referee for a nudge on Pedro. Contact from Kedziora was minimal at best, however, so the decision to turn down those shouts was the correct one.
A second look at that penalty appeal suggests that Kedziora was perhaps lucky to get away with his nudge on Pedro. That one goes into the 'seen them given' category. Sarri will hope that it does not come back to haunt his side.
Shaparenko goes on a fine run through the heart of Chelsea's midfield and slots the ball out wide, which leads to a corner being won. The ball is worked to Tsygankov and his cross hits Alonso on the arm, similar to the one given in Manchester United's favour last night, but the referee says no penalty.
SAVE! Pedro could easily have scored a hat-trick already this evening. As it is, Boyko is keeping his side in the match, producing another good stop with his right hand after Pedro got in behind, controlled the ball and volleyed it goalwards from close range.
WIDE! Willian gets away from his man with ease and the ball is cut back to Alonso, whose shot deflects off Mykolenko and drifts inches wide of the far post. From the corner, Luiz heads the ball over the bar - another decent chance.
Half time is now just five minutes away - a relief for Khatskevich as his side are desperately holding on. Sarri has been concerned by his side's failure to kill off opponents this season and that is looking like being a problem here. That second goal will just not come.
Chelsea are constantly getting into two-against-one situations down the flanks, which has got to be a concern for Khatskevich. The visitors have had a total of 166 passes so far, compared to Chelsea's 307.
YELLOW CARD! A yellow card is show to Buyalskiy for dragging Kovacic to the ground. Dynamo are really struggling at the moment, as they have done all half, and could do with the half-time whistle.
Christensen and Kovacic go for the same ball and have both suffered facial injuries - that is a painful one. Kovacic has come out of that second best and requires some treatment. Worst case scenario is that he has suffered concussion and has to go off.
SAVE! Kovacic is given the all-clear to continue. Chelsea pick up from where they left off as Pedro is spotted by Barkley, cuts inside from the left and tests Boyko with a pretty weak attempt by his own standards.
HALF TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 DYNAMO KIEV
Chelsea take a one-goal lead into half time, but it should be a lot more. Pedro opened the scoring for the Blues through their first attempt of any note 17 minutes in, and since then a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Kiev keeper Boyko has kept the scoring down. Sarri will be hopeful of a couple more goals after the restart.
Pedro found a way through 17 minutes in after exchanging passes with targetman Olivier Giroud and tucking the ball through the legs of Denys Boyko. That came from Chelsea's opening effort of the evening, though they had been well on top until that point and turned possession into chances in the remainder of the first half.
Pedro was then guilty of missing a couple of good opportunities. The Spanish wideman fired straight at Boyko from five yards out after a couple of opposition players failed to cut out Willian's teasing cross from the right, before being denied by the visiting goalkeeper again 15 minutes later once controlling the ball and volleying on target.
Ross Barkley also squandered a good chance in-between those two Pedro openings, failing to get the better of Boyko at his near post following some good movement to get in behind - a theme of the first half from the Blues' perspective. Another Pedro shot was saved late on and Marcos Alonso also came close with his deflected effort, though ultimately Chelsea's profligacy - something mentioned by Maurizio Sarri
in the build-up to the game - has been on show once again.
CHELSEA SUBS: Caballero, Rudiger, Kante, Hazard, Higuain, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi
DYNAMO KIEV SUBS: Tsitaishvili, Kadar, Smyrnyi, Harmash, Bushchan, Sidcley, Andrievsky
KICKOFF: Dynamo Kiev, completely outclassed in that first half, get this Europa League last-16 first leg back underway at Stamford Bridge!
Kiev have never won a European match on English soil, drawing three and losing 11 of their 14 previous visits - most recently a 0-0 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 back in March 2016. Will the Ukrainians offer more of an attacking threat in this second half?
Chelsea are zipping the ball around but, ultimately, a 1-0 win is not what Sarri is after - he will want two or three goals to reflect his side's dominance. There were seven attempts from the Blues in that first half, all from inside the box.
Sarri does not look too pleased on the sidelines. Jorginho's long pass is a little off and Kiev are not exactly holding on as they were in the first half. This is the perfect opportunity for the Ukrainian visitors to pounce.
Chelsea boss Sarri has sent a few players, including Hudson-Odoi, to warm up. It has been a very slow start to the second half from his side.
SAVE! Pedro is picked out by Willian with a good pass and the Spaniard cuts inside on his left. The shot is pretty weak, once again, and Boyko gets behind it. That is the first time Chelsea have got at their opponents in this second period.
Chelsea supporters are urging their side on now. The tempo of the hosts' play has dropped significantly since the restart. Barkley tries to change that by bursting into the box, but Burda sticks with him and concedes a corner.
The corner is flicked on at the front post but Luiz cannot hook it on goal. Kiev try to hit their opponents on the counter, but Sydorchuk is caught in two minds and neither shoots nor passes to a teammate, instead clipping the ball into the path of Kepa.
Chelsea are becoming sloppy in play, leading to some groans from their supporters. The Blues have not created chances quite so freely in this second half, and all of a sudden Dynamo are looking a lot more positive on the ball.
Dynamo win a free kick, with Christensen guilty of fouling Rusyn. Shaparenko clips the ball into the box, but Mykolenko is flagged for offside. The visitors are enjoying their best spell of the match.
DOUBLE CHANGE! Sarri takes off Barkley and Jorginho with a little over an hour played, replacing them with Loftus-Cheek and Kante. Will the Frenchman be used in the holding-midfield position, I wonder?
Loftus-Cheek lets the body roll across him and he draws a foul out of Kiev skipper Sydorchuk. Willian and Luiz stand over the free kick from about 25 yards out...
GOAL! CHELSEA 2-0 DYNAMO KIEV (WILLIAN)
Former Shakhtar Donetsk man Willian scores a free kick against Dynamo, just like he did the last time they visited this ground. It is a superb strike from the Brazilian, curling the ball over the wall and into the top-left corner from 25 yards.
The visitors have responded well since going behind. A cross comes in from the left but Christensen is able to cut it out. Khatskevich has brought on Harmash for Rusyn in his first change, knowing that an away goal is needed.
That second Chelsea goal has given them plenty of breathing space. A one-goal advantage would have made things awkward for the return trip next week, but they can now flex their muscles a little. Kiev have to go for it and that is opening up gaps.
DYNAMO KIEV SUB! Sidcley is brought on for Buyalskiy, who will miss the second leg because of the yellow card he picked up a little earlier. Sarri will want to see his side score a third goal, which they would deserve.
Kedziora gets a cross into the box but Christensen does very well to power it away with his head. Chelsea are inviting a little pressure on themselves now, but that could be part of their plan - there will be chances to counter as this one goes on.
Sydorchuk shoots from a long way out, sending the ball high and wide of the target. Sarri has just been given a telling off by referee Slavko Vincic for moving outside his technical area.
Harmash cuts inside and causes some panic, but he decides against shooting and that turns out to be the wrong choice. A cross eventually comes in from the left but Kepa, who has been given little to do today, plucks it out of the air.
CHELSEA SUB! Alonso gets on the end of a long ball over the top and decides to have a go at scoring, despite the angle being against him. The ball flashes across the face of Boyko's goal. Willian, the scorer of Chelsea's second goal, is replaced by Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea are well in control of this tie as we enter the final 10 minutes. Kiev have had the odd promising moments, but they have failed to test Kepa all evening and the Blues have never looked like conceding. A 2-0 lead should be good enough to take into the second leg.
Loftus-Cheek gives away possession but Dynamo are unable to make the most of it. Khatskevich will be pleased with his side's second-half display, having restricted Chelsea to far fewer chances, but they really could do with an away goal.
CHANCE! Loftus-Cheek has the chance to kill off the tie, which he fails to take. Pedro slots it through for the midfielder, who takes the ball in his stride but lifts it too high over Boyko when shooting at full stretch.
Chelsea have to be careful here - a goal for Dynamo and this tie has a completely different feel to it. Sidcley flicks on a fizzed cross at the front post but Chelsea get away with it - he appeared to be well offside. A shot from distance then loops over Kepa, who failed to keep hold of a cross, but it has a little too much on it.
Dynamo are the side probing away for the third goal of the night. Chelsea, who have not really had a lot to do in a defensive sense tonight, are starting to look nervy at the back. Harmash is flagged for offside when trying to get on the end of Sidcley's pass, though, and the hosts can regroup.
GOAL! CHELSEA 3-0 DYNAMO KIEV (HUDSON-ODOI)
GOAL! Pedro plays a delightful ball in behind for Loftus-Cheek who lays it on a plate for Hudson-Odoi to bend away from Boyko. That is three Europa League goals this season for the youngster, with this latest strike likely being enough to confirm his side's place in the last eight.
FULL TIME: CHELSEA 3-0 DYNAMO KIEV
Chelsea will take a commanding three-goal lead with them to the Ukraine next week thanks to first-leg strikes from Pedro, Willian and Hudson-Odoi. Pedro opened the scoring through one of the Blues' seven attempts in the first half, but for a while it looked as though their profligacy would come back to haunt them.
That was until Willian gave them some breathing space after the hour, and Hudson-Odoi came off the bench to add a late third and effectively kill off the tie ahead of next week's return match in the Ukraine.
That concludes Sports Mole
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