Malmo 0-1 Chelsea: Hakim Ziyech goal earns muted Champions League win for Blues

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Hakim Ziyech hit the only goal as Chelsea were made to work for the three points against Malmo on Tuesday.

The Champions League trip to Sweden came with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner absent for Thomas Tuchel’s side, although Christian Pulisic was back on the bench.

The lack of firepower showed as the Blues failed to score having dominated the first-half, controlling 74 per cent of possession and testing Malmo’s shaky goalkeeper, Johan Dahlin, on a number of occasions.

But the Swedes held firm with Kai Havertz, Marcos Alonso and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all unable to break their deadlock. The best opening came for Havertz, leading the line and yet unable to convert a clear one-on-one chance after being set free by Loftus-Cheek.

Antonio Colak almost punished Chelsea on the verge of the break. Malmo took advantage of the visitors falling asleep from a drop ball and the Croatia international lashed a half-volley wide of Edouard Mendy’s far-post.

Although the hosts came out strongly in the second-half, the Blues began to turn the screw again before Ziyech opened the scoring. Havertz and Hudson-Odoi combined well to set the winger free, putting a perfect cross in for Ziyech to slide home.

Pulisic returned for a runout in the closing stages as Chelsea comfortably saw out what was in truth an unspectacular win, putting the pressure back on Group H leaders Juventus.

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