Ziyech hits first Chelsea goal in rout of Krasnodar
Hakim Ziyech scored on his first start for Chelsea as Frank Lampard’s side powered to a 4-0 victory away to Champions League debutants Krasnodar in Russia on Wednesday.
Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea but Callum Hudson-Odoi put the Blues in front before half-time after a mistake by Krasnodar goalkeeper Matvei Safonov.
Timo Werner smashed in a spot-kick on 76 minutes to double Chelsea’s lead, with Moroccan international Ziyech and Christian Pulisic adding late goals.
“I thought his (Ziyech’s) performance was very, very good when you consider he hasn’t started a match since March, when the Dutch league finished,” said Lampard.
Chelsea move up to four points at the top of Group E after two matches. Sevilla host Rennes later on Wednesday in the other game in the pool.
Thiago Silva stayed in London to rest as Antonio Rudiger made his first appearance of the season for Chelsea, lining up alongside Kurt Zouma in central defence.
Ziyech joined from Ajax for a reported £37 million ($48 million) in the summer but missed the beginning of the season with a knee problem.
The 27-year-old had made three cameos as a substitute before earning his first start in Krasnodar — a journey of some 3,500 kilometres from London.
Krasnodar drew their opening game of the group in Rennes last week, and Daniil Utkin forced Edouard Mendy to dive full-length to tip behind his curling shot inside five minutes.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Werner was clipped by Brazilian defender Kaio, but Jorginho’s effort hit the post and bounced off Safonov before Krasnodar scrambled clear.
Hudson-Odoi made the most of his opportunity playing behind Werner, and benefitted from a goalkeeping error to break the deadlock on 37 minutes.
The England international’s low drive looked routine for Safonov, who was excellent in Krasnodar’s opening game, but the Russia Under-21 ‘keeper allowed the ball to slip through his grasp.
Yuri Gazinski struck the bar for Krasnodar as he volleyed into the ground at a corner 10 minutes into the second half.
Chelsea then earned a second penalty when Aleksandr Martynovich was harshly penalised for a handball as he sought to block an attempt from Pulisic.
With Jorginho having been substituted, Werner took over spot-kick duties and lashed the ball beyond Safonov.
Krasnodar were only able to name five outfield players on the bench, Magomed Suleymanov the oldest among them at just 20.
The visitors took advantage of their tiring opponents as some Pulisic trickery allowed Werner to lay off to Ziyech, who tucked a neat finish beyond a crowd of defenders.
Pulisic delivered a fourth in the final minute when he combined with Tammy Abraham before shooting through the legs of Safonov.