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Barkley and Giroud on target as Chelsea earn 2-1 win over Malmo

Chelsea recovered some pride after their 6-0 thrashing away to Manchester City with a Europa League last-32 victory in Sweden.

Ross Barkley celebrates scoring the opener with Olivier Giroud, who would add a second in the second-half.
Ross Barkley celebrates scoring the opener with Olivier Giroud, who would add a second in the second-half.

ROSS BARKLEY AND Olivier Giroud goals earned Chelsea earned a 2-1 win away to Malmo in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 meeting.

Chelsea came into the game on the back of four straight losses in all competitions without a single score, including Sunday’s 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City.

But they had better fortune this evening in the Swedbank Stadion, with goals either side of the break by Barkley and Giroud giving them a 2-0 lead. 

The opening goal came after 30 minutes when Pedro floated in a cross from the right channel and, after defender Lasse Nielsen slipped, Barkley collected the ball and stabbed it past goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.

Malmo came close following a goalmouth scramble just before the break, but went into half-time a goal down. 

Chelsea struck again in the 58th minute then when Brazilian winger Willian raided down the left and fed Giroud, who cleverly beat Dahlin with an improvised close-range finish to score in his fourth consecutive European appearance.

But although Maurizio Sarri’s men appeared to be cruising to a morale-boosting win, Malmo will travel to London with hope after Anders Christiansen’s excellent late reply.

Christiansen burst on to a perfectly played through ball by Markus Rosenberg and beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a placed finish to cut the Swedish side’s deficit ahead of next week’s Stamford Bridge return.

Before the two sides meet again, Chelsea will host Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday. Malmo, meanwhile, also have a cup game next with Degerfors the visitors to Swedbank Stadion on Sunday.

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