Chelsea secured their first Champions League win of the season as Graham Potter’s side comfortably beat AC Milan 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to move up to second place in Group E.
The Blues took the lead with 24 minutes on the clock as Wesley Fofana poked the ball home into the net from close range to score his first goal for the club.
However, the French centre-back’s night was done shortly after, as a suspected knee injury forced him to be replaced by Trevoh Chalobah.
The Rossoneri had their best chance of the match right in first-half stoppage time, but Rade Krunic could only put his close-range shot over the crossbar.
Chelsea continued to be the better side in the second half and doubled their lead in the 56th minute, as Reece James’ low cross from the right byline was turned in by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from inside the six-yard box.
James then got on the scoresheet himself just five minutes later as the right wing-back buried a powerful strike into the roof of the net from inside the penalty area to round off a great night for the West London side.
TALKING POINT – CHELSEA UP AND RUNNING
This was a much-needed win for Chelsea, as they secured their first victory of the group stage to move above both Milan and Dinamo Zagreb in the standings. The Blues took around 20 minutes to get into the game, but when they did, they were far the better side, and soon dominated proceedings.
Prior to the game, it was widely thought that Chelsea faced an uphill battle to get out of the group. After this round of fixtures, however, that previous outlook looks very different as Dinamo Zagreb slipped to defeat against RB Salzburg. With just two points separating all of the teams in the group, qualification for the round of 16 still remains up for grabs.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – REECE JAMES
It was a performance of the highest quality from the Chelsea right wing-back. He was phenomenal down the right byline, causing Milan left-back Fode Ballo-Toure all sorts of problems with his pace and directness in the wide areas. The 22-year-old’s performance was capped off by two direct goal involvements.
In total, James made two key passes, completed two dribbles (100% success rate), and also made three successful tackles.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga 7, Fofana 7, Silva 7, Koulibaly 7, James 9, Loftus-Cheek 8, Kovacic 6, Chilwell 7, Sterling 7, Mount 8, Aubameyang 7. Subs: Chalobah 6, Gallagher 6, Jorginho 6, Havertz 6, Broja 6.
AC Milan: Tatarusanu 6, Ballo-Toure 6, Tomori 7, Kalulu 6, Dest 5, Tonali 5, Bennacer 6, Krunic 5, De Ketelaere 6, Leao 6, Giroud 6. Subs: Diaz 6, Pobega 6, Gabbia 6, Rebic 6, Origi 6.
23’ – GOOD SAVE – Mount whips in the free-kick into the penalty area, and Thiago Silva sees his header at the far post tipped over the bar by Tatarusanu!
24’ – GOAL! (Wesley Fofana) – It is a scrappy goal, but Graham Potter will not care! Chilwell delivers his corner into the danger area from the left, which Thiago Silva tries to get onto once again, but Tatarusanu rushes off his line to make another big save. The rebound causes some mayhem in the box, but Fofana eventually latches onto the loose ball and fires it low into the corner to score his first for Chelsea.
45+4’ – BIG MISS! – Milan have their best chance! Leao shows what he is capable of after breezing past a couple of Chelsea players down the left as he drives all the way into the box. He tees up De Ketelaere for the shot in the centre, but his effort is parried by Kepa. Krunic gets the rebound, but misses a shocker as he puts the ball over the bar from close range! Despite that, Milan win the corner, but it comes to nothing. That will be the last action of the first half.
56’ – GOAL! (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) – Aubameyang strikes! He has his 16th Champions League goal to give his side some daylight. James’ cross from the right is finished brilliantly by Aubameyang in the six-yard box for an easy tap-in past Tatarusanu. Tomori will be disappointed that he was unable to make the interception moments before the ball fell to the Chelsea striker.
61’ – GOAL! (Reece James) – James has his goal! It is very poor from Milan, who give the ball away cheaply playing the it out from the back. The ball eventually falls to Sterling, who plays James in behind on the overlap. James takes a touch to set himself, before arrowing in a fantastic strike into the roof of the net!