Chelsea eased past Rennes to record their second win of their Champions League campaign to remain top of their group. Timo Werner scored a couple of penalties in the first half, followed by Tammy Abraham’s goal in the second half to extend Chelsea’s consecutive clean sheets in all competitions to 5.
Lampard made one change to the side that defeated Burnley by replacing Havertz with Ziyech, as the German international tested positive for Covid-19. Former Sevilla midfielder N’Zonzi started for Rennes, with Guirassy leading the line.
Both teams started well with some slick one-touch football, as the visitors began to settle down and slow down the pace a bit. Ziyech came close to scoring an outrageous goal after collecting Joringho’s zipped pass with a wonderful first touch and hitting an instant volley that just cleared the bar. Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the 9th minute after Werner was clipped by Dalbert, earning the defender a booking. Werner stepped up to convert the penalty and give Chelsea an early lead. Rennes started to have more possession after conceding a goal, but couldn’t break a resilient Chelsea defence. Rennes were unlucky to concede another penalty after Abraham’s shot deflected off Dalbert’s leg onto his outstretched arm. VAR and referee adjudged it to be a penalty and sent off Dalbert for a second booking. Werner stepped up to score his second of the game by blasting the ball into top-left corner, as Chelsea ended the half in cruise control.
Chelsea were quick off the blocks as Ziyech missed an excellent chance to score Chelsea’s thrid after smashing a half-volley well over from 10 yards out. However, Chelsea scored with their next attack in the 50th minute after James’s cross set up Abraham for a simple tap in at the near post. Lampard took the opportunity to rest some of his players ahead of the Premier League clash against Sheffield United by replacing Chilwell, Abraham and Kante with Emerson, Kovacic and Giroud. Werner almost scored his first hat-trick in Chelsea colours when James’s first-time cross was diverted at the last moment by Da Silva with the German behind to tap in. Lampard used his final two substitutions to replace Thiago Silva and Ziyech with Rudiger and Callum Hudson-Odoi, as the game was already in the bag for the Blues. Mendy, who wasn’t troubled for most parts of the game was called into action to deny Grenier with a diving save to preserve Chelsea’s clean sheet.
Timo Werner, who scored both the penalties said “We played very well today. Both penalties were the right decision – the red card was also good for us as it meant we could control the game. Before the game, the manager told me that if we got a penalty I should take it. Jorginho is cool with that. I hope I can continue to take them When you want to score 20 or more goals you have to take a few penalties, so I am happy.“
Frank Lampard was satisfied with Chelsea’s performance and acknowledged the fact his team is improving as every week progresses.
On unbeaten run
I enjoyed it tonight. It shows the work we’re doing. It was atough game but we did the right things in every aspect. We saw the game out well and we got minutes for players at the back end. We have to keep going.
On Tammy’s performance
I’m very happy with Tammy. When we brought in players, they are versatile and can play out wide. I know what Tammy can bring. When he’s at his best… he got his goal, which he deserved. His goal was the culmination of his performance over the past two matches.
On Werner’s contribution
That he could train with us early was a big bonus for us. We’ve not had a pre-season so we had a benefit from him and now Hakim. He’s adapting quickly. It was a bonus. He’s been easy to manage. He works and plays well. I felt he had the endurance to last 90 minutes. I’m very happy with him.
On playing two strikers
It was good. I know Timo is comfortable on the left. Early on we had one fit winger with Christian and Hakim out. I know Timo can do it. The way we want to play, you get plenty of opportunities as an inside winger. We saw some fluidity in the front three as a whole.
On Werner’s penalty duty
I spoke with Jorginho first because he has been brilliant. I felt it was time to have a change. He was fine with that. Timo took them well today. Timo is as it stands now but he has to keep scoring them.
On Havertz’s Covid-19 situation
It showed up in Uefa’s testing on Monday. We re-tested yesterday but everyone else is negative in the squad. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times. He’s at home isolating. He has minor symptoms but he’s fine. I spoke to him two hours before the game. He’s doing all the right things. It’s one of those things in the modern day.