Dynamo Kyiv 0-5 Chelsea: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Europa League 2018/19
Chelsea booked their berth in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with an emphatic 5-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Thursday.
The Blues traveled to Ukraine with a healthy three-goal advantage from the first leg at Stamford Bridge last week, and piled further misery on the hosts to emerge 8-0 winners on aggregate over the course of the two-legged affair.
Despite making four changes to the side that beat Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg, Maurizio Sarri's men were head and shoulders above the opposition from the get-go and cruised to a win in the end.
Olivier Giroud opened the scoring for Chelsea as early as the fifth minute and grabbed his second goal in the 33rd minute, before Marcos Alonso made it 3-0 for the visitors just ahead of the half time interval.
The west Londoners maintained their dominance after the break and completed the rout in the second half as Giroud bagged his hat-trick in the 59th minute, before grabbing an assist for Callum Hudson-Odoi's finish in the 78th minute.
Chelsea have now established themselves as one of the front-runners to lift the Europa League after reaching the quarter-finals this term, and will look forward to the draw on Friday.
On that note, let's take a closer look at the major talking points from the second leg round of 16 clash in Kiev:
#1 Chelsea shrug off 'surface' concerns with five-star display
Prior to their second leg clash with Dynamo Kyiv, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was concerned and vocal about the playing surface at the Olympic Stadium. The Italian had inspected the surface before the pre-match press conference and opined that it was far from ideal to contest a European game.
However, the UEFA responded to Sarri's plea by stressing the surface is just aesthetically unwell and that it has met the standard regulations set by the federation. Despite the patchy condition of the pitch, Chelsea were far from affected by it.
The Premier League giants dominated the length and breadth of the surface and enjoyed the freedom on it by making the best use of the spaces they carved open on the night.
There was little respite for the hosts, who were well and truly battered in their own backyard as Chelsea conjured a free-flowing display while going forward.
And although Sarri was concerned about the condition of the surface and the possibility of it hindering his team by making the players more susceptible to injury, it won't have mattered to him as soon as Chelsea got into their stride and walked off unscathed in the end.