Timo Werner scored twice as Chelsea powered past Rennes with a 3-0 victory to solidify their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds.
Germany international Werner slotted two first-half penalties, winning the first and the second of which saw Rennes go down to 10 men.
And with their numerical advantage, Chelsea made light work of the Ligue 1 side throughout much of the contest.
Frank Lampard’s front three of Tammy Abraham, Werner and Hakim Ziyech immediately posed problems for Rennes’ defence. Indeed, Ziyech’s early shot from the edge of the area fizzed over the bar.
However, the early onslaught told after only 10 minutes, when Werner both won and scored his first penalty. Rennes left-back Henrique Dalbert received a yellow card for clipping the attacker, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Chelsea kept up their momentum, a range of passing and varying attacks keeping Rennes on the back foot. The Ligue 1 side were unable to stamp their mark on a first half which turned progressively worse.
In particular, Dalbert was again in the spotlight. Abraham‘s fierce shot hit the Brazilian’s outstretched arm and after a long VAR review, the referee pointed to the spot.
Werner made no mistake again, this time smashing his effort into the top left corner. Dalbert, meanwhile, received a second yellow card for his actions and was sent down the tunnel.
That made life for Rennes infinitely more difficult in the second half, with Chelsea unrelenting in their pressure.
Indeed, Abraham slotted in the Blues’ third goal after 50 minutes to put more daylight between the sides.
But that goal bears greater significance for the striker, who has become the first Chelsea player since boss Lampard in 2008 to score in each of his last three Champions League starts.
Reece James set up Abraham for his strike and the right-back could have had another assist, this time for Werner.
After a fantastic ball over the top from Thiago Silva, James ran into the space and squared, with Werner only denied by a vital intervention by Damien Da Silva.
Mendy stops Rennes fightback
Rennes threw men forward in the final ten minutes and had the ball in the net, only for the offside flag to go up.
Amid the late flurry of attacks, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made a fantastic save to help maintain his clean sheet.
Chelsea’s dominant win moves them onto seven points in Group E, level with second-placed Sevilla – who beat Krasnodar 3-2.
The Blues return to Premier League action on Saturday with a clash against Sheffield United.
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