Werner on the spot as Chelsea beats 10-man Rennes 3-0 in CL

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea swept to a 3-0 win over 10-man Rennes in the Champions League on Wednesday after Dalbert was sent off for conceding two first-half penalties converted by Timo Werner.

The Brazilian left back was booked for tripping Werner in the penalty area in the ninth minute, then received his second yellow card — harshly, according to both coaches — just before halftime when a shot by Tammy Abraham struck Dalbert’s leg and ricocheted up onto his outstretched arm.

Werner, now on spot-kick duties ahead of Jorginho, dispatched both penalties to give Chelsea a two-goal lead by halftime, and Abraham added the third goal in the 50th minute.

Rennes coach Julien Stephan was particularly disappointed with the awarding of the second penalty, saying it was a turning point in the game and that it might have been a misunderstanding of the handball ruling.

“What happened was surprising,” Stephan said. “I don’t think it would happen the other way round for Chelsea.”

Asked for his reaction, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said: “If I was the manager of Rennes, I wouldn’t be happy.”

Chelsea’s second straight win in Group E kept the English team in first place, courtesy of its superior goal difference over Sevilla, and on course for a place in the knockout stage. Rennes looks to be battling with fellow competition newcomer Krasnodar for third place and a spot in the Europa League’s last 32, with both on one point.

Chelsea was without Germany playmaker Kai Havertz, who was self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus on Monday. Lampard said he has been displaying symptoms since.

The match at an empty Stamford Bridge saw Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy up against the club he left in September. He finished with a clean sheet after making his only necessary save off a shot from Clément Grenier late on and has yet to concede a goal in six matches in all competitions, including three in the Champions League.

Mendy embraced his former teammates after the final whistle.

Werner now has six goals in his last six matches as he settles in quickly at Chelsea in his first season at the club. With Christian Pulisic also missing as he recovers from a hamstring niggle, Werner played on the left wing to accommodate Abraham as the central striker.

Werner’s penalties were unforgiving, his first low down to goalkeeper Alfred Gomis’ right and his second into the roof of the net on the same side.

“We are seeing a Timo that is fit, that is adapting quickly to the rigors of the Premier League and working our team out and how we want to play,” Lampard said.

Abraham’s goal came following a perfect cross by right back Reece James, which the England striker met with a sidefooted finish into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

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