CHELSEA 4-0 MALMO: The Blues scored four goals at home for the first time under Thomas Tuchel despite losing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to injury in the first half
Thomas Tuchel enjoyed his biggest win as Chelsea manager – even after losing both his first choice strikers.
Incredibly, it was the first time Chelsea have scored four at home since Tuchel took charge in January as they swept Malmo aside in the rain.
But they did it without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner who went off injured before half time and yet it was so easy they did not miss them.
Chelsea midfielder Jorginho scored two penalties, Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz were on target as the Blues recovered from the defeat at Juventus last month with an important win in Group H.
Chelsea boss Tuchel had complained before the game that his players were tired and mentally fatigued after an unforgiving and unrelenting year.
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Frankly, Lukaku has looked as if he needed a rest after going six games without a goal but this match also looked the perfect opportunity to end his barren run as Malmo’s defence were a shambles.
But Lukaku only lasted 21 minutes before going off injured with a leg injury after winning a penalty and his early departure will be a major concern for Tuchel.
Werner also went off a minute before the break after feeling a hamstring and yet Chelsea cruised through the contest without them.
The last time Chelsea scored four at home was under Frank Lampard against Morecambe in the FA Cup in January and the home faithful still loyally sing the former manager’s name.
Tuchel did oversee a 4-1 win at Crystal Palace last season but this was their biggest win and it felt like good timing for Stamford Bridge to enjoy such a convincing win.
After recent wobbles, some lacklustre displays, this was the sort of confidence booster that Chelsea and Tuchel needed both for the Premier League title race and the European campaign.
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The floodgates opened after nine minutes after Malmo failed to clear, the ball pinged around the box and Thiago Silva hooked a cross back into the danger area for Christensen.
Christensen smashed the ball into the ground and the poor keeper Johan Dahlin stood no chance as the ball flashed past him.
Jorginho should have had a penalty after being pushed over even before Lukaku won a spot kick with a foul which led to him going off injured.
Lasse Nielsen upended Lukaku just as the £97.5m striker was threatening to bulldoze his way right through the Malmo defence. Off went Lukaku, up stepped Jorginho and he coolly slotted home.
Werner then went off injured and looked absolutely distraught and in any other week it would be an injury crisis… but they only face Norwich on Saturday and they have yet to win this season and only managed two goals in their eight games.
Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi were the replacements and they combined for the third in the 48th minute. Hudson-Odoi made a great run forward, he fed Havertz who lifted the ball over sub keeper Ismael Diawara.
Chelsea got a fourth after 55 minutes when Larsson shoved over Antonio Rudiger and you might have thought the sub keeper might have fared better against Jorginho’s second penalty kick of the game.
But Diawara was down almost before Jorginho started his run up and it was easy for the Italy midfielder and for Chelsea to complete the win.