Chelsea cruise as Werner's penalty double sinks Rennes
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London (AFP) –
Timo Werner scored two penalties as Chelsea powered to a 3-0 win against 10-man Rennes in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Werner netted twice before half-time at Stamford Bridge after Rennes defender Dalbert conceded both penalties.
Dalbert was sent off after the second penalty and Chelsea made the most of their numerical advantage to score again through Tammy Abraham early in the second half.
Frank Lampard's side are top of Group E with seven points after three games and look well set to qualify for the last 16.
Chelsea have started a Champions League campaign with three consecutive clean-sheets in the group stage for the first time since 2009-10.
As well as keeping five successive clean-sheets in all competitions for the first time in 10 years, banishing the defensive problems that ailed them earlier this season, the Blues have scored 10 goals in their last three games.
The combination of a well-drilled defence and a potent attack is a welcome sight for Lampard, who has been working overtime to find the right formula after spending over £200 million ($259 million) on new signings in the close-season.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions and Lampard's only concern was the absence of Kai Havertz, who was left out of the squad after going into self-isolation following a positive coronavirus test.
- Penalty controversy -
Hakim Ziyech came close to putting Chelsea ahead when his audacious volley from the edge of the area looped just over.
Instead, it was Werner who opened the scoring in the 10th minute.
Werner's deft touch induced a rash tackle from Dalbert just inside the area, winning a penalty that the German striker calmly converted.
Werner's third goal in his last three games was the signal for Chelsea to dominate possession.
For all Chelsea's control, they were almost caught out when Benjamin Bourigeaud's free-kick flew just wide of the far post.
But Dalbert's disastrous day was complete in the 41st minute when he stuck out a foot to block Abraham's shot and diverted it onto his arm.
After a video review, the penalty was awarded and Dalbert was dismissed for his second booking.
It was a harsh decision, but Werner lashed the spot-kick high into the roof of the net for his seventh goal of the season to rub salt into Rennes' wounds.
Werner, a close-season signing from Leipzig, has now been directly involved in 13 goals in his past 14 appearances in the Champions League.
Chelsea went for the kill after half-time and Jorginho's defence-splitting pass found Abraham, whose shot was bravely blocked by Alfred Gomis.
Abraham got his goal anyway in the 50th minute, meeting Reece James' cross with a close-range finish for his third goal of the season and his first since September.
Werner nearly notched his hat-trick from James' cross, but Damien Da Silva cleared away from the striker as he prepared to pull the trigger.
Gomis made a good save to deny Olivier Giroud in the closing stages, but Chelsea had already done enough damage.
Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy, who joined from Rennes in September, was rarely tested against his old club.
Mendy did make one good save to keep out Jeremy Dokumade's strike in the final moments, giving the Senegal international six clean-sheets in his last six appearances.
© 2020 AFP