2021-22 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Hakim Ziyech (56')

Chelsea edge past Malmo thanks to Hakim Ziyech strike

Chelsea took a huge step towards the Champions League knockout stages with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Malmo in Sweden on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel's side, without forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner because of injury, were frustrated in front of goal and found a breakthrough hard to come by until Hakim Ziyech converted Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross in the 56th minute.

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Until then the Champions League holders had laboured in front of a noisy home crowd at the Eleda Stadion, creating several opportunities but not clear-cut chances.

Thiago Silva saw an effort cleared off the line as Chelsea pushed for a second and Kai Havertz, in the de facto striker role, had a shot saved by Malmo goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.

Malmo's best chance of the second half fell to Erdal Rakip in the 64th minute, but he ignored several teammates in better positions before blazing a shot harmlessly over the crossbar.

United States international Christian Pulisic returned from injury to make the bench for Chelsea, coming on as a 74th minute substitute to get his first minutes since August.

Chelsea move onto nine points from four games in Group H and level with Juventus, who play Zenit St Petersburg later on Tuesday.