A high press that the visitors struggled to negotiate set the tone for an evening in which there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Sarri again made wholesale changes as he has done throughout the Europa league campaign. There were starts for Zappacosta and Alonso in the full back positions, whilst Christensen continued at centre back alongside Luiz this time. Kante was rested as Kovacic joined Barkley and Jorginho in midfield. Giroud started up front with Willian and Pedro flanking him.
Chelsea controlled possession from the outset as the visitors struggled to get a foothold in the match. Diagonal balls out wide provided early joy. Luiz hitting a couple of raking balls out to Willian on the right. Zappacosta ably supported on the overlap, an early cross blocked for a corner. On the other flank Pedro was again on form and netted a deserved opener in the sixteenth minute. Giroud dropped off to link nicely with Barkley. The English international then fed Pedro who drove towards the box from the left-hand side. His one-two with Giroud inside the area was sublime. Giroud’s return back-heeled pass nutmegging the defender. Pedro did likewise as he beat the keeper.
A goal up inside twenty minutes and with 75% possession. The famous Ukrainian side were struggling to get out of their own half.
Kiev lined up in a 4-4-2 system, and with Chelsea midfielders pulling wide and dropping off, the centre of the park was a key battle ground that we were comfortably winning. Down both flanks Kiev also looked vulnerable. Zappacosta travelled a good 40 yards unchallenged before playing in a low cross from the right that deflected perfectly into Pedro’s path. His shot was straight at the keeper. A big chance missed. At this stage we were creating chances a plenty, and in doing so were playing some great football. A super quick paced exchange of passes between the triangle of Kovacic, Pedro and Giroud left Kiev floundering, and Barkley in down the left. The keeper stopped with his legs. Jorginho was again using the ball brilliantly in the middle, as was Luiz playing out from the back. He picked out Pedro with a ball through in what was a very similar move to that which saw Pedro open the scoring at home to Newcastle earlier in the season. This time after controlling, his left foot volley was well saved. 1-0 at the break, a score line most would have settled for before kick-off. Had it finished like that after watching the match, we would have perhaps been a little disappointed.
The second period was a continuation of the first. Chelsea dominating the ball and making all the chances. Fifteen minutes into the second period Sarri decided to make a couple of changes to the midfield. Loftus-Cheek and Kante on in place of Barkley and Jorginho. Immediately Ruben won a free-kick on the edge of the area. Willian stepped up with his trade mark single step run up and whipped a beautiful effort into the near top corner. That settled the win, a clean sheet was now a requirement, another goal a bonus.
Chelsea kept moving the ball well but didn’t really create anything else clear cut until the final ten minutes. Hudson-Odoi was on the field by this stage and linked well with Loftus-Cheek down the left. He played wide to Pedro, who spotted the continued run of Loftus-Cheek and put him in behind. On the stretch he could only turn over the top under pressure.
The visiting side created their only chance of the match shortly after, as Sidcley got the wrong side of Luiz at the near post to flick on a Garmash cross from the right. It ran across the face of goal but was cleared.
Pedro had been brilliant and set up the third goal with a great diagonal ball through to Giroud. He touched into the path of Hudson-Odoi who whipped it into the far corner. This was the icing on the cake. Without conceding an away goal we are in an extremely good position to progress now.
Chelsea (4-3-3) 3 (Pedro 17, Willian 65, Hudson-Odoi 90)
Arrizabalaga; Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso;
Barkley, (Loftus-Cheek 62), Jorginho, (Kante 62), Kovacic;
Pedro, Giroud, Willian, (Hudson-Odoi 78)
Dynamo Kiev (4-4-2) 0
Boyko; Kedziora, Burda, Shabanov, Mykolenko;
Tsigankov, Sydorchuk, Shepelev, Buyalsky, (Sidcley 71);
Shaparenko, Rusyn (Garmash 66)