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Player Ratings: Malmo 0-1 Chelsea | Champions League

Chelsea ambled to a 1-0 win over Malmo in the Champions League at the Eleda Stadium on Tuesday evening.

As with the reverse fixture in London last month, the Blues eventually proved to have too much for the Swedish champions to handle, in spite of the hosts' spirited efforts.

Eventually is indeed the operative word. The Blues enjoyed the brunt of possession and fashioned up 14 chances in the first half, but failed to convert. Efforts from tight angles from Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz were the best of a bad bunch, but these were closed down well by Malmo goalkeeper Johan Dahlin - who offered two bites of the cherry on a number of occasions.

Chelsea's profligacy was concerning enough, but of most alarm to boss Thomas Tuchel at the break will have been some decent half chances for the Allsvenskan leaders. There was genuine energy and belief that they could go toe to toe with the reigning champions of Europe - something which the Blues had failed to snuff out to that point.

They set about snuffing it out in kind in the 55th minute, with Ziyech coolly guiding home a laser-guided cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

That was to prove enough to scoop the three points in a routine performance. The Pensioners can now turn their attention to Premier League action, welcoming Burnley to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. In the interim, here are tonight's player ratings...


Édouard Mendy - 7/10

A relatively serene evening for the Senegalese giant, but he showed he was awake to any danger with a tremendous save from a long-range Bonke Innocent effort - which was later called back for a foul in any case. His sweeping was more than competent, too, which was important given the Swedish outfit's tendency to play direct balls in behind.

Andreas Christensen - 7/10

Try as they might, the spirited Malmo offensive unit never really had an opportunity to get past 'the Great Dane', who mopped up any attacks with consummate ease and showed great confidence in resisting the press.

Thiago Silva - 7/10

Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with a deft flick towards goal from a corner, but that is not necessarily the Brazilian's remit. Keeping the opposition at bay very much is, and that is what he did with trademark efficiency. Barely misplaced a pass the whole 90 minutes.

Antonio Rüdiger - 6/10

Never too far away from the wars, and he had quite the battle with Malmo striker and countryman Antonio-Mirko Colak. Did not quite find his range with his usually excellent through balls.

César Azpilicueta - 7/10

A rather understated showing from the skipper on his return from a knock, but in reality he marauded down the right flank with aplomb. Tireless, dependable and showing no signs of slowing down.

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Jorginho - 7/10

His midfield partner for the day will likely get all the plaudits - and rightfully so - but the Italian went about things with the minimum of fuss, doing plenty of unnoticeable but important work in controlling the tempo in a tidy and business like performance.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 8/10

His first start in the Champions League in six years, and there were certainly moments he dazzled under the lights. His low centre of gravity and strength was sublime. There will be sterner tests ahead and he is still being caught in possession on occasion, but that should be addressed with time and more minutes under his belt - a scary prospect for opponents given the drastically different dynamic and profile he injects into an already illustrious midfield.

Marcos Alonso - 6/10

Lack of pace was exposed frequently - both in the offensive and defensive phase - and it was no coincidence that Malmo had their most joy down his flank. Given the form Ben Chilwell is in at the moment, tonight required something special from the Spaniard to put himself in contention - but it eluded him.

Hakim Ziyech - 8/10 [74]

A much brighter showing from the Moroccan after coming in for criticism for his wastefulness at St James' Park this past weekend. Created a hatful of chances for his colleagues, seemed generally more assured in possession, and was duly rewarded for his efforts by stroking home a composed finish when presented to him on a plate.

Callum Hudson-Odoi - 8/10 [74]

Demonstrated one of the lesser celebrated facets of his game with an sumptuous assist for teammate Ziyech. It will have been no surprise to fans who followed his progress through the Cobham ranks, who will be fully aware that he is one of the best passers of the ball in this decorated squad. A livewire all night.

Kai Havertz - 7/10

Not exactly known for releasing the ball quickly on his best nights, but there was an exceptionally distinct lack of urgency in his play in the first half. The German was guilty of dallying for too long when chances fell his way. The second period was an improvement, with some great hold-up play and combination with Hudson-Odoi leading to the opener.


Bench

Ross Barkley - N/A [74]

Christian Pulisic- N/A [74]


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