Krasnodar vs Chelsea result: Five things we learned as Frank Lampard’s side rack up big Champions League win

Karl Matchett
·4 min read
Chelsea celebrate scoring (AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea celebrate scoring (AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea weren’t enormously impressive early on but had the clinical edge and attacking quality to run out 4-0 winners in the Champions League against Krasnodar.

The first big chance of the night came from the penalty spot, when Timo Werner was fouled in the box - but Jorginho saw his spot-kick hit the post, rebound off the goalkeeper and away to safety.

Callum Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring before the break, though, after his routine shot was spilled in by the Krasnodar goalkeeper in calamitous fashion.

Krasnodar were improved after the break but were punished again by the referee in the second half, a penalty harshly awarded for a perceived handball - and Timo Werner took this one, smashing home the Blues’ second goal, before late strikes from Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic added gloss to the scoreline.

Here are five things we learned from the game in Russia.

Time for Jorginho to step aside?

All penalty-takers eventually miss one, whether by a wonder save from the goalkeeper or their own mis-steps.

For Jorginho, that has happened perhaps once too many times now, though.

He saw his effort saved against Liverpool last month and, though he has netted since then against Palace, this was a second miss in just over a month.

If that alone might give some within Stamford Bridge thoughts about whether a change was in order, Timo Werner’s thunderous effort would encourage even more of the same - it was a blistering strike which spoke of confidence as well as ability.

The striker could do with a few more goals to his name too, so maybe it’s a good time to switch.

Krasnodar threats

The two big attacking talents for the Russian side were Tonny Vilhena and Daniil Utkin.

Vilhena, a Dutch midfielder who has been in and out of the international set-up over the past five years, played a deeper midfield role but led the counter-attacks, had the range of passing and vision in his game to set Krasnodar away on the break.

Krasnodar’s Daniil Utkin tries to get a shot awayReuters
Krasnodar’s Daniil Utkin tries to get a shot awayReuters

Utkin, a young Russian attacking midfielder, has yet to be capped at senior international level but his poise in possession, set-piece delivery and willingness to take on shots as often as possible all made him one of the stand-outs in the team.

Krasnodar haven’t started the season well domestically, but they retain players who can take them to a higher level - or else who will be sought out be teams in 2021 transfer windows.

Emotional difference

There’s no question about it: Krasnodar came back into the game in the second half, in terms of effort and intensity, partly because there was a roaring crowd behind them.

It wasn’t the most horrendous, intimidating atmosphere European football has ever produced, far from it.

But it was there. It was support. It was backing from the crowd for their players, demanding a more attacking outlet from the players, who responded in kind. It didn’t lead to a result, but the swing in the match was very evident nonetheless.

It has to be a safe return, of course - but many clubs in the Premier League and beyond are convinced they can offer that. So the sooner fans return, in part at least, in fewer numbers than before perhaps, the better it will be for all involved.

Ziyech off the mark

Frank Lampard hasn’t needed to rush Hakim Ziyech back to action, thanks to a glut of attacking midfielders in his squad.

The former Ajax man has been slowly integrated into the side, with sub appearances and infrequent starts, and has gradually started to look like the more threatening, creative player we all know he is.

Here he showed why he’s such a threat: from any attacking angle he can make space, evade a tackle and get shots away - he managed five in his 80 minutes on the pitch, four hitting the target and one ending in the back of the net.

Last season a big issue for the Blues was a lack of clinical edge, but Ziyech will be part of the solution which ensures that shouldn’t be a problem over the longer term in 2020/21.

Group look

There’s still lots of work to do to progress, but this win on the road takes Chelsea a good step toward the last 16.

It’s a very tight group, with Rennes impressive domestically and with real match-winners in their ranks, while Sevilla’s pedigree is well-known by now.

After all four teams drew on Matchday 1, it makes victories away from home all the more important.

Chelsea’s progress might yet come down to the double-header against Rennes, and they’ve put themselves in a good starting spot for those upcoming fixtures.