Chelsea picked up a crucial victory over Dynamo Kiev to keep their Champions League hopes alive thanks to a late strike from Willian. The Blues had led thanks to an own goal from Aleksander Dragovic. But, Dragovic got his team back in the game with a goal at the right end in the second half. Jose Mourinho looked set for another frustrating night, until Willian curled in a fantastic free-kick.
The big news before the game was that Jose Mourinho dropped key man Eden Hazard, after his poor recent performances. Willian, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas lined up behind Diego Costa, while Ramires and Nemanja Matic were on holding midfield duty once again. Gary Cahill made way for Abdul Baba Rahman, who started on the left, as Cesar Azpilicueta switched to the right side of defence.
The start in this one wasn’t close to the flying one made on Saturday, as the Blues were sluggish. With their place in the knockout stages far from secure, you’d have thought they’d have been up for this challenge. Dynamo looked comfortable here, and they knew a point in this game would be huge for their chances of making the last 16.
Despite their not so strong start, Chelsea actually took the lead. It came with a huge slice of luck, as Willian’s cross ended up being turned in to the net by Dyanmo defender Dragovic. That bit of ingenuity from the Brazilian winger was exactly what the Blues needed, and it showed why he’s been the only bright spark in this dreary campaign so far.
That goal brought some life into the team, and they pushed forward looking to double the lead. While they couldn’t find a second before half time, it was good to see that they had learnt from their mistakes against Liverpool, when they sat back almost straight after taking the lead, and they were punished for it.
The team did begin to sit back a little in the second period, but they were still carving out chances. There was a delicate balance to the game at 1-0, but that was rocked when the Ukrainians found an equaliser. With 13 minutes to play, the Premier League side’s problems from corners struck again, as an error from Asmir Begovic gave Dragovic a chance to make amends, one which he gladly took.
That goal looked to have condemned Chelsea to two more dropped points in this group, and it would have left them sitting third with only two games left to play. But, the winner came with time ticking away. But, the Blues won a free-kick 25 yards from goal, and Willian stepped up looking to maintain his recent impressive set piece form. His curling effort flew into the net, giving his manager a massive boost, and three vital points.
LCN Man of the Match: Willian