Chelsea were left to rue two shots hitting the woodwork and a penalty appeal denied as Dynamo Kiev held the Blues to a dull 0-0 draw.
The Blues, who are struggling to hit a period of consistency this term, had to settle for a share of the spoils, with the match offering little in the way of notable chances, apart from Hazard hitting the post and Willian hitting the crossbar.
In the end, Chelsea return home with the one point and will look for more in the return leg in a fortnight’s time.
There was little change about Mourinho’s set-up, apart from at right-back. Zouma was the game’s right-back with Ivanovic injured and Rahman uninspiring at the weekend, with Mourinho justifying the decision by saying their best player is their right-winger, Yarmolenko, thus needing the tall Frenchman to compensate.
But it was Chelsea who did most of the attacking.
Fabregas had the game’s first shot, but chances were coming thick and fast at the visitors wanted to wrap this one up quickly at a tough home ground.
Willian’s shot was on-target before Hazard followed up by hitting the post after lovely foot-work. It was still lacking the end product seen of the Belgian last season, though.
Fabregas has a penalty shout turned away by Damir Skomina, before Willian and Matic each had opportunities for themselves. Would Chelsea rue not converting their chances?
Nearly. Buyalskiy had a chance deflected off John Terry, but it was beginning to become a contest. Zouma had to be sturdy to block dangerous crosses from the Kiev wings, but it was at the other end where most of the action occurred.
Willian nearly scored from another set-piece but the woodwork had something to say about that, whilst Fabregas tried his hand with another low drive.
A counter-attack by Hazard, Fabregas and Costa lacked the precision expected, with passes, touches and flicks all going astray.
Kiev ought to have packed more punch into this performance with the other group qualifying spot, you would think, be fought between them and Porto, but there was little on offer despite the raucous crowd. Gonzalez tried from a tight angle but Begovic was not tested much.
The hosts ended with a flurry of activity, largely from counter-attacks and corners to put some nerves into the Chelsea performance, but Willian also had the chance to nick it at the end which he failed.
In the end the spoils were shared with Chelsea languishing behind in third place, but with the return leg in two weeks’ time to make amends.
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Man of the Match
RAMIRES: The caveat is Dynamo Kiev did not really cause Chelsea too many problems, but when they did Ramires was on hand to help Cahill and Terry, as well as Matic, out. The Brazilian utility man can be seen as a defensive midfielder or right-winger, but definitely has qualities in the former role in which he played tonight to great effect, freeing up Fabregas to venture further forward and do nothing productive. 6/10
Mourinho was in playful mood: “The referee was weak and naive”, referring to words Arsene Wenger used which did not land him in trouble, whilst “afraid” did cost the Portuguese earlier this month. He continued: “One mistake [by Craig Joubert] cost Scotland at the rugby. Here one mistake cost Chelsea.” When asked whether he thought his comments would lead to a Champions League fine, Mourinho stung back: “OK, it was not a penalty.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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