Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kiev: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis | Europa League 2018-19
Goals from Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi ensured a comprehensive victory for Chelsea over Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 encounter - their third win on the bounce in all competitions.
It was highly vital for Chelsea to come out there and score goals in order to head into the reverse fixture away from home with a healthy advantage. And they did just that, by flying out of the blocks, stamping authority over the pace of play and creating ample chances.
Maurizio Sarri heavily rotated his players, but they stuck to their tasks to engineer a fine and confidence-boosting win ahead of a tough run of fixtures.
Chelsea were great throughout the match and should have scored at least two more goals, owing to the big slew of chances that came their way. Apart from one or two major threats, the Ukrainian giants barely troubled Kepa Arrizabalaga's goal.
On that note, let's take a look at the major talking points from Chelsea's 3-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev.
#1 Sarri names an interesting starting XI
Earlier in his press conference, Sarri had laid down hints of a possible rotated squad for this fixture. But there was more to it than one thought.
First things first, Kepa retained his place in the starting line-up. Many thought for the Europa League game at least, Willy Caballero would get his spot between the sticks, especially after an inspiring performance in goal against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Sarri however, had other ideas as he stuck by his 'number one' goalkeeper.
Skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, who has been used as a machine over the last couple of months, was given a necessitous break, which meant Davide Zappacosta, who has barely kicked a ball in recent months, started down the right side of the back-four. David Luiz wore the armband for the evening, while Antonio Rudiger sat out.
Andreas Christensen manned the heart of defence alongside Luiz, whereas Marcos Alonso returned at left-back.
Jorginho held the pivot at central midfield for Chelsea, while both Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley started on either side, thereby giving the omnipresent N'Golo Kante a breather. Pedro and Willian filled the flanks, with Olivier Giroud leading the line once again in the Europa League.
Thankfully for Sarri, Eden Hazard was not needed at any moment.