Hudson-Odoi steals Willians thunder as Chelsea cut Dynamo Kyiv adrift

Callum Hudson-Odoi sealed Chelseas 3-0 win against Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie

There was a period when this breeze of a victory served as a reminder to those clamouring for youth that Chelseas elder statesmen are far from spent forces just yet. Pedro and Willian, 30-something wingers both, whose contracts expire next year, had dismantled Dynamo Kyiv with such pace and skill that the job felt virtually complete when Maurizio Sarri, as if playing to the gallery, dispatched his tyros into the fray for the dregs of the occasion.


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    Yet there is simply too much about Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi, the current darlings of these parts, to allow even a fleeting opportunity to pass them by. With time ticking down and the advantage still somehow stalled on two, the substitutes combined. Hudson-Odoi, a scorer against Malm in the previous round, collected his teammates flick before ripping the third goal of the evening beyond Denys Boyko. The teenager was raised off his feet by Loftus-Cheek in celebration, those in the Matthew Harding stand chorusing his name once again, with Chelsea planting a foot in the quarter-finals.

    It is becoming a familiar scene. Hudson-Odoi may have benefited from the runaround to which Pedro and Willian had subjected a naive and panicked Dynamo side, but he stakes a claim for greater involvement with every outing these days. The 18-year-old has now been directly involved in seven goals in his last seven games in all competitions at Stamford Bridge, and neither he nor Loftus-Cheek, his back problems eased though possibly not soon enough to return to the England squad to be named next week, will be satisfied by mere cameo appearances in this team. The hope is both at least start in Kyiv in the return.

    Sarri, over recent days, has preached patience with Hudson-Odoi, a player still coveted by Bayern Munich that failed transfer request remains the elephant in the room and yet to make a Premier League start. I am convinced [in his quality], Sarri said after the game. He has nothing to do to convince me, because he is a very great player. But he still needs to improve because he will not arrive at the top of his game until he is 22 or 23, like every other player. So now I think he needs to improve without the pressure of the media, without the pressure of the fans, without the pressure of the club.

    Its very dangerous, at 18, to have this pressure. You have to improve, tactically, mentally and physically, at that age. So its dangerous [to put too much pressure on him]. I dont like to speak about him for this reason. But he is in my mind for every match.

    Willian
    Willian whips his free-kick over the wall and into the top corner. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

    The locals had been chanting his name through most of the second half, pleading for an introduction even while Pedro and Willian were dazzling out on the turf. Just as at Wembley, when he and Loftus-Cheek had been introduced in the Carabao Cup final, the homegrown talents have the ability to raise the collective mood.

    Their problem, of course, will be ousting the older heads still barring passage into the first-team. It had been Willian who deflated Dynamo here, whipping a glorious free-kick over a leaping wall and into the top corner of Boykos net just after the hour-mark to revisit an identical goal plundered against these opponents in the Champions League three seasons ago. Dynamos travelling support had heckled his every touch, a legacy of his previous association with Shakhtar Donetsk. And Ive always liked to play against them, he said through a smile.

    Then there was Pedro. His darts down the flank decorated this occasion, invariably collecting another boomed crossfield pass from David Luiz or clever flick from Olivier Giroud. The perfectionist in the Spaniard will bemoan the saves Boyko conjured to thwart him before the break, his prod from Davide Zappacostas cross particularly wasteful, but he had already prised them apart by then. Ross Barkley slipped him free down the left just after the quarter-hour mark to skip inside into the box. Pedro continued his run having fed Giroud and collected the Frenchmans back-heeled return, eased through Artem Shabanovs legs, to steer in his shot from close range.

    Tomasz Kedziora, the right-back, had been utterly bypassed by the whole exchange, a mere passenger catching up with play. His night would hardly improve. Indeed, only Boykos agility and Chelseas profligacy would spare the visitors a thrashing as they offered next to no threat of their own and departed with a whimper. Aleksandr Khatskevichs side will surely pose more problems in the Olympic stadium next Thursday but, even after a week of improbable comebacks, they did not look a team likely to mount one of their own. Chelsea can spy the last eight.

    Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

     


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