Chelsea 3 Malmo 0 (5-1 agg): Hudson-Odoi and Barkley score as Chelsea book place in last-16

Chelsea 3 Malmo 0 (5-1 agg): Hudson-Odoi and Barkley score as Chelsea book place in last-16

His mission, despite landing safely in the last 16 of the Europa League, is to still be manager at Chelsea in a week’s time.

Whether Sarri makes it beyond the next two games – Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and Wednesday’s home Premier League game with Tottenham – is anyone’s guess.

A decent enough performance, notable for Callum Hudson-Odoi being given a rare start and scoring the third, will neither have helped or hindered the Italian’s hopes of remaining at the club.

A seventh goal of the season early in the second half for Olivier Giroud was enough to make life comfortable enough for Sarri before Ross Barkley scored with a decent free-kick, seconds after defender Rasmus Bengtsson was dismissed for a second yellow.

And with Chelsea coasting into the next round, Sarri was able to avoid playing Eden Hazard a run-out and he will be fresh for the trip to Wembley.

City fans watching this will not be too worried but it would be typical of Chelsea – who have a decent record of success despite going through so many managers – to end up pulling something out of the bag and win on Sunday – before getting rid of the manager.

Nevertheless, the mood at Stamford Bridge was noticeablt stifled among the home supporters who do not know what is around the corner.

When you consider the slightly embarrassing way Chelsea fans turned on their manager during the 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, you could have forgiven Sarri for feeling a bit unloved.

And he would also have felt even more exposed as assistant Gianfranco Zola was missing from the dugout. Zola had been absent from training after returning to hospital due to an infection following gallstone injury but still hopes to be at Wembley on Sunday.

Mocked by supporters for his tactics and rigid system, Sarri at least gave them something to get excited about by giving Hudson-Odoi only his seventh start.

Hudson-Odoi had been allowed just 19 minutes since the end of the transfer window, when he failed to get a move to Bayern Munich and at least he capped this performance with a decent strike.

Predictably, Chelsea fans delivered a massive roar the moment his name was announced before the game.

It was the excitable supporters from southern Sweden making the most noise and 3000 or so in the away end also proced they were able to chant – and also swear – in perfect English.

At the start of second half by using flares to bring a truly continental flavour to proceedings, the Malmo fans also ensured their club will be getting a charge and subsequent fine from Uefa over the next few days.

From a colour perspective, it was a bit like watching Manchester City – Chelsea’s opponents in the Carabao Cup on Sunday.

This team with sky blue shirts and white shorts do not boast star names like City but they started well enough with defender Rasmus Bengtsson allowed a little bit too much room in the area but he headed over.

Visiting skipper and striker Markus Rosenberg was unable to capitalise on a defensive mix-up and dragged a shot wide.

Starting in goal for Chelsea was Willy Caballero as first choice Kepa is struggling with a hamstring problem ahead of Sunday, which is probably the biggest worry of all.

Malmo were forcing mistakes from Chelsea by working so hard and pressing high.

The half-time whistle was met with groans and following the pyrotechnic show from the Malmo fans at the start of the season half, the game was held up – briefly – for one of the most half-hearted pitch invasions from an idiot you will ever see.

Soon after, Chelsea took the lead and put the tie beyond Malmo’s reach with an impressively clinical goal.

Malmo gave away possession and Kante picked the ball up from his own half and after one heavy touch, was still allowed to charge forward. Willian was unmarked on the left and he delivered an outstanding, first-time cross for Giroud to poke the ball in.

Malmo were forced to play the final 17 minutes without defender Bengtsson after he fouled Emerson and Barkley clipped the ball over the wall for his fifth of the season.

Job done for Sarri although he did not express too much emotion even when Hudson –Odoi drilled the ball into the net for the 3-0.

The former Napoli manager has now been at the club long enough to know that winning games is not necessarily enough.

As he made some changes and brought on Jorginho, some of the crowd started to jeer.

This is what he is dealing with. It is an almost impossible job.

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