Woodwork saves Dynamo from improved Chelsea

Dynamo Kiev 0 Chelsea 0

Eden Hazard and Willian hit the woodwork as Chelsea were held to a goalless draw at Dynamo Kiev.

It was a vastly improved display, even on the win over Aston Villa, but Jose Mourinho’s men stayed third in Champions League Group G behind Porto and Dynamo, who remained unbeaten.

Mourinho had targeted four points from the double header with Dynamo – the Stamford Bridge return is on November 4 – and would have been content with a point after losing at Porto last time out.

Dynamo Kiev's Artyom Kravets challenges for the ball with Gary Cahill. AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Dynamo Kiev's Artyom Kravets challenges for the ball with Gary Cahill. AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Yet Chelsea came close to returning from NSK Olimpiyskyi with more.

Hazard, restored to the starting XI, hit the post with an early shot, Cesc Fabregas felt he was sandwiched in the box but penalty appeals were dismissed, and Nemanja Matic beat three men before prodding wide.

There was a sense Chelsea had to take one of those first-half chances, but another followed when Willian – excellent against opponents he knows well following his spell at Shakhtar Donetsk – hit the bar with a curling free-kick.

Andriy Yarmolenko showed why he is coveted with some surging runs as Dynamo pressed forwards in the second half, but it finished in a stalemate.

Chelsea will go to West Ham on Saturday with confidence restored but with work still to do domestically and in Europe.

Hazard was omitted from Chelsea’s starting XI for last Saturday’s defeat of Villa, with Mourinho afterwards demanding the Belgium playmaker improve his workrate.

With Pedro injured, Hazard returned against a Dynamo side bidding to respond from a first loss in 38 Ukrainian Premier League games, 3-0 to Shakhtar last Friday.

He apparently heeded Mourinho’s message against a Dynamo side whose head coach is Sergei Rebrov, once of Tottenham and West Ham.

The hosts had lost just one of their last 10 European home games, recording seven wins, and Chelsea’s initial priority was to keep it tight.

But the Blues were on the attack for much of the opening 30 minutes.

Willian struck a tame shot straight at Olexandr Shovkovskiy and a Fabregas effort next was blocked into the path of Hazard, whose strike across goal was tipped on to the foot of the far post by the 40-year-old goalkeeper.

Fabregas, who won his 100th Spain cap in Kiev last week, wanted a penalty for a challenge by Serhiy Rybalka.

So did Mourinho, who is appealing a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban imposed after being denied a penalty against Southampton earlier this month. The pleas were dismissed.

Matic then drove at the Dynamo defence and might have scored.

Dynamo looked dangerous too and Domagoj Vida beat Kurt Zouma, playing out of position at right-back, before finding Vitaliy Buyalskiy, whose shot deflected wide.

Willian, who had scored free-kicks in four successive games prior to the Villa win, went close again with a 25-yard set-piece which struck the bar. Matic could not quite reach the rebound.

Fabregas shot weakly and Hazard had a shot blocked before Dynamo pressed.

Yarmolenko teed up Derlis Gonzalez, but Asmir Begovic was equal to the shot and then parried clear a curling effort from the Paraguayan.

Vida scooped an opportunity over, Gonzalez shot at Begovic and Junior Moraes was unable to get on the end of a cross after a poor John Terry clearance.

Willian curled just wide as it finished level.

More in this Section

Manchester United make Chelsea pay as VAR takes centre stageManchester United make Chelsea pay as VAR takes centre stage

Staunton urges Quinn to give Kenny full backingStaunton urges Quinn to give Kenny full backing

‘The champion is not going anywhere’ – Wilder confident ahead of Fury rematch‘The champion is not going anywhere’ – Wilder confident ahead of Fury rematch

Liverpool ‘contenders’ for Champions League title again, says Jurgen KloppLiverpool ‘contenders’ for Champions League title again, says Jurgen Klopp


FOR many of us, health insurance is high on the list of financial products which that we tend to avoid changing out of fear and confusion.Money and Cents: cover all the bases for best health insurance

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular Emma in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic comedy about the spoilt, meddling matchmaker who means well, says Laura HardingAnya Taylor-Joy: ‘Emma is my little monster’

Setting sail to travel the world as part of your job has a romance all of its own but for marketing manager Máire Cronin and engineer Mark Crowe it led to love.Wedding of the Week: Cruise ship co-workers Máire and Mark sail off into sunset

One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, writes Eoghan O'SullivanThe Podcast Corner: podcasts that will put you to sleep

More From The Irish Examiner