Chelsea bounced back from their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City last weekend by beating Malmo 2-1 in Sweden. Goals by Ross Barkley and Oliver Giroud gave the West London side a comfortable victory.
Maurizio Sarri made 5 changes from the humiliating loss on February 10th with Willian, Giroud, Emerson, Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen all in the team as Chelsea looked ready to bounce back. After a dominant opening half hour, Barkley gave the away team the lead in the 30th minute after poking the ball into the net from a cross by Pedro. This was Chelsea's first away goal away of 2019.
Although Malmo got close to Chelsea's goal with a couple of set-pieces, the Blues soon doubled their lead. A brilliant counter attack led to Giroud flicking the ball into the net from Willian's pull back.
Sarri's side had chances to get a third goal, with both Barkley and Pedro getting close. But it was the Swedes who scored in the 80th minute. Anders Christiansen raced through to pick up a pass from Markus Rosenberg and side-footed the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, into the goal.
The late goal was only a minor dent in Chelsea's success and they will be fully confident in the second leg, facing Malmo again, this time at Stamford Bridge on February 21st.