Chelsea prove too good for Kiev

Chelsea prove too good for Kiev

Chelsea's Pedro celebrates after scoring against Dynamo Kiev.

Chelsea outclassed Dynamo Kiev 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie but Arsenal face an uphill task to make the quarterfinals after slumping to a 1-3 defeat at French club Rennes.

Napoli, Dynamo Zagreb, Villarreal and Valencia will also take victories into next week’s second legs, while Sevilla against Slavia Prague and Eintracht Frankfurt against Inter Milan ended all square.

Chelsea were by far the better side at Stamford Bridge – they had eight shots on target to Kiev’s none - but it was not until Callum Hudson-Odoi scored a third goal in stoppage time that the scoreline fully reflected their dominance.

Pedro put the home side ahead after 17 minutes when he played a one-two with Olivier Giroud and set them on the road to their eighth win in nine Europa League games this season. Willian made it two with a perfect free kick after 65 minutes before 18-year-old substitute Hudson-Odoi side-footed home.

Arsenal took an early lead when what looked like a cross from Alex Iwobi evaded everyone and sneaked in at the far post. The match changed completely four minutes before half-time when Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Rennes equalised from the resulting free-kick when Benjamin Bourigeaud rifled home at the second attempt.

The French team went ahead 20 minutes into the second half when Mehdi Zeffane’s shot looped off defender Nacho Monreal into the net and Ismaila Sarr made it 3-1 two minutes from time when he powered home a header from a lovely curling left-wing cross.

First-half goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Fabian Ruiz, and an own goal by Jerome Onguene gave Napoli a 3-0 over Austrian champions Salzburg.

Sevilla, who have won the Europa League three times, twice went ahead against Slavia Prague but were pegged back on both occasions in a pulsating 2-2 draw in Spain.

 Fellow Spaniards Villarreal had a happier evening in St Petersburg and will take a solid 3-1 lead over Zenit into the second leg at home.

Valencia beat Krasnodar 2-1 thanks to a first-half double from Rodrigo.

Bruno Petkovic scored a penalty for Dinamo Zagreb to give them a 1-0 home win over Benfica while in the only game between two former winners of the UEFA Cup, Eintracht Frankfurt were held 0-0 at home by Inter Milan.