Ziyech winner in Malmo moves Chelsea closer to last 16

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Hakim ZiyechHakim Ziyech scored for the first time since the European Super Cup game against Villarreal in August, which Chelsea won on penalties

Reigning champions Chelsea moved closer to the last 16 of the Champions League with a hard-fought win over Malmo in Sweden.

After being frustrated in the first half, the Blues went ahead when Hakim Ziyech converted at the back post following an excellent cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Thiago Silva nearly grabbed a second but his glancing header was cleared off the line by Anel Ahmedhodzic.

It was another masterful defensive display from Thomas Tuchel's side, who denied Malmo a single shot on target.

Chelsea have nine points from four matches in Group H, the same total as Juventus, who face Zenit St Petersburg at home on Tuesday evening (20:00 GMT).

If the Russians lose in Italy then Chelsea would only need a draw at home to Juventus on 23 November to qualify for the last 16 with a game to spare.

Another strong Chelsea defensive showing

Malmo, managed by ex-Newcastle striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, were playing their 11th match in this season's competition after battling through four rounds of qualifying, knocking out Rangers on the way.

However, they had suffered heavy losses in their three previous group matches, including a 4-0 defeat by Tuchel's team at Stamford Bridge in October.

Only the form of home goalkeeper Johan Dahlin denied Chelsea a first-half goal as he kept out efforts, albeit sometimes unconvincingly, from Cesar Azpilicueta, Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Andreas Christensen, while England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek twice narrowly missed the target.

A capacity crowd at the Eleda Stadion produced a fine atmosphere with the home fans trying to inspire their team to their first Champions League point of the season.

Top goalscorer Antonio Colak almost gave the supporters something to cheer about in first-half injury time as he showed great technique to connect with a volley from a long ball forward, but could only steer the shot wide.

Soren Rieks also put a half volley wide early in the second half as the Swedish league leaders threatened to cause a shock.

Loftus-Cheek, lively in only his fifth start of the season, had an effort parried by the erratic Dahlin before Marcos Alonso's glanced header was blocked.

But Chelsea, just as they had done in their 3-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, had to be patient before eventually making the breakthrough, which came in the 56th minute.

Hudson-Odoi, on the right wing, played a one-two with Havertz and then produced an exquisite low ball which evaded Ahmedhodzic and Dahlin, with Ziyech putting the ball away at the back post.

Chelsea were again without injured strike-pair Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, while Mason Mount had not recovered from an illness that also saw miss the Newcastle game.

But there was one returning player as United States midfielder Christian Pulisic came on as a second-half substitute for his first club appearance since August after an ankle injury had kept him out for two months.

Another pleasing aspect for Tuchel was yet another impressive performance from his defence as they kept their 10th clean sheet from 17 matches in all competitions.

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Malmö FF

  1. Squad number27Player nameDahlin

  2. Squad number15Player nameAhmedhodzic

  3. Squad number24Player nameNielsen

  4. Squad number31Player nameBrorsson

  5. Squad number32Player nameBerget

  6. Squad number7Player nameRakip

  7. Squad number20Player nameInnocent

  8. Squad number8Player namePeña

  9. Squad number5Player nameRieks

  10. Squad number9Player nameColak

  11. Squad number37Player nameNanasi

  1. Squad number2Player nameLarsson

  2. Squad number6Player nameLewicki

  3. Squad number13Player nameOlsson

  4. Squad number19Player nameBirmancevic

  5. Squad number22Player nameNalic

Chelsea

  1. Squad number16Player nameMendy

  2. Squad number4Player nameChristensen

  3. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  4. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger

  5. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  6. Squad number12Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  7. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  8. Squad number3Player nameAlonso

  9. Squad number22Player nameZiyech

  10. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi

  11. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  1. Squad number10Player namePulisic

  2. Squad number18Player nameBarkley

Line-ups

Malmö FF

Formation 3-5-2

  • 27Dahlin
  • 15Ahmedhodzic
  • 24Nielsen
  • 31Brorsson
  • 32BergetSubstituted forLarssonat 86'minutes
  • 7RakipSubstituted forBirmancevicat 86'minutes
  • 20Innocent
  • 8PeñaSubstituted forLewickiat 58'minutes
  • 5RieksSubstituted forOlssonat 57'minutes
  • 9Colak
  • 37NanasiSubstituted forNalicat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ellborg
  • 2Larsson
  • 4Moisander
  • 6Lewicki
  • 13Olsson
  • 17Abubakari
  • 19Birmancevic
  • 21Gwargis
  • 22Nalic
  • 29Eile
  • 30Diawara

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 16Mendy
  • 4Christensen
  • 6Thiago SilvaBooked at 69mins
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 12Loftus-CheekBooked at 80mins
  • 5Jorginho
  • 3Alonso
  • 22ZiyechSubstituted forBarkleyat 74'minutes
  • 20Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forPulisicat 74'minutes
  • 29Havertz

Substitutes

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 10Pulisic
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 14Chalobah
  • 17Saúl
  • 18Barkley
  • 21Chilwell
  • 24James
  • 31Sarr
  • 68Vale

Referee:Dr. Felix Brych

Attendance:16,112

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Malmö 0, Chelsea 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Malmö 0, Chelsea 1.

  3. Offside, Chelsea. Kai Havertz tries a through ball, but Christian Pulisic is caught offside.

  4. Ross Barkley (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Foul by Eric Larsson (Malmö).

  6. Jorginho (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Foul by Antonio-Mirko Colak (Malmö).

  8. Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea).

  9. Veljko Birmancevic (Malmö) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Offside, Malmö. Eric Larsson tries a through ball, but Antonio-Mirko Colak is caught offside.

  11. Attempt blocked. Andreas Christensen (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

  12. Substitution, Malmö. Veljko Birmancevic replaces Erdal Rakip.

  13. Substitution, Malmö. Eric Larsson replaces Jo Inge Berget because of an injury.

  14. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).

  16. Erdal Rakip (Malmö) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Foul by Bonke Innocent (Malmö).

  19. Attempt missed. Ross Barkley (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Antonio Rüdiger with a headed pass.

  20. Attempt saved. Kai Havertz (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek with a through ball.

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