Match ends, Chelsea 3, Rennes 0.
Chelsea maintained their unbeaten Champions League start as they strolled to victory over Rennes at Stamford Bridge to continue their smooth progress towards the knockout stage.
Frank Lampard's side, who had opened their campaign with a draw at home to Sevilla and a win away to Krasnodar, took full advantage of an injury-hit Rennes side who were then harshly reduced to 10 men before half-time.
Timo Werner gave Chelsea a comfortable interval advantage with two penalties, the first after he was fouled by Dalbert and the second when the same defender was penalised for handball - Rennes' sense of frustration exacerbated when the defender received a second yellow card for the offence.
The second penalty seemed harsh, as Dalbert blocked an Abraham shot and saw the ball deflect onto his raised arm.
German referee Felix Zwayer awarded the contested penalty after a visit to the pitchside monitor, and then sent off Dalbert.
Chelsea, who were without Kai Havertz after he returned a positive test for Covid-19, were in total control and emphasised their domination five minutes after the break when a superb delivery from Reece James was turned in at the near post by Tammy Abraham.
Chelsea were rarely threatened but new keeper Edouard Mendy thwarted his former club late on with a fine save from Clement Grenier.
It was a comfortable three points that puts Chelsea in comfortable control of Champions League Group E.
Chelsea maintain quiet progress
When Chelsea were forced to come from 3-0 down to earn a point at West Bromwich Albion, and then conceded a last-minute equaliser against Southampton in a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge, if there were not exactly murmurings of discontent around Lampard, there were certainly questions being asked.
Lampard had added attacking flourishes to his side in the shape of Werner, Havertz and Hakim Ziyech but it looked like Chelsea were highly vulnerable in defensive areas.
Lampard insisted the problems would be addressed once defenders Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva settled and new keeper Mendy bedded in as replacement for the flawed Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was once more at fault at home to Southampton.
The evidence is mounting that he was right as Chelsea have now gone more than seven hours without conceding a goal and have put together a 10-match unbeaten run.
Chelsea's victory here was achieved under little pressure but this is still a very good sequence and with a place in the Champions League knockout stage pretty much assured and progress being made in the Premier League, Lampard has every reason for satisfaction.
'I'm not completely happy with the handball rule'
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: "That rule has been adjusted in the Premier League for common sense. I thought it probably goes along with the Champions League rules that it gets given today.
"I'm not completely happy with the rule, and if I was the manager of Rennes today I wouldn't be happy with it either. I'm not mad on the rule but it is what it is."
'I don't want to go into conspiracy-theory thinking'
Rennes boss Julien Stephan: "Unless the rule has changed and we weren't aware I don't know why he decided to give handball for this.
"When you give a second yellow for this kind of thing it kills the game. So there's misunderstanding in actual fact. Why do we check that and not the handball from (Kurt) Zouma?
"There's some misunderstanding but I don't want to go into conspiracy-theory thinking.
"It was a turning point in the game, it makes it difficult against a team like Chelsea who have good players in every position, with the numerical disadvantage."
Emulating Harry - the stats
- Chelsea have won four of their last five Champions League group stage games against French sides (L1), winning three such matches in a row for the first time.
- Rennes have lost all three of their European games in England, by an aggregate score of 7-0.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight Champions League group stage games (W5 D3), last going longer without such a defeat in the competition in November 2010 (13 games - W10 D3).
- In all competitions, Chelsea have kept five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2010, while they last started a Champions League campaign with three consecutive clean sheets in 2009-10.
- Chelsea's Timo Werner has been directly involved in 13 goals (10 goals, three assists) in his last 14 Champions League appearances, with each of his last five such goals coming from the penalty spot.
- Tammy Abraham is the first player to score in three consecutive Champions League starts for Chelsea since Willian in 2015, and the first Englishman to do so since Frank Lampard in 2008.
- Chelsea's 3-0 victory is the biggest home win by a side under an English manager in the Champions League since Harry Redknapp's Tottenham beat Werder Bremen (3-0) in November 2010.
- 6Thiago SilvaSubstituted forRüdigerat 68'minutes
- 21ChilwellSubstituted forEmersonat 63'minutes
- 7KantéBooked at 26minsSubstituted forKovacicat 62'minutesBooked at 79mins
- 5JorginhoBooked at 65mins
- 22ZiyechBooked at 32minsSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 75'minutes
- 9AbrahamSubstituted forGiroudat 63'minutes
- 3Da Silva
- 5Chagas EstevaoBooked at 40mins
- 15NzonziSubstituted forGrenierat 62'minutes
- 19GbohoSubstituted forDel Castilloat 62'minutesBooked at 89mins
- 12Lea SilikiSubstituted forTruffertat 45'minutes
- 7TerrierSubstituted forDokuat 62'minutes
- 9GuirassySubstituted forHunouat 76'minutes
- 22Del Castillo
- Felix Zwayer
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, Rennes 0.
Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum Hudson-Odoi with a cross.
Foul by Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea).
Jéremy Doku (Rennes) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Romain Del Castillo (Rennes) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Timo Werner (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Romain Del Castillo (Rennes).
Offside, Rennes. Adrien Hunou tries a through ball, but Jéremy Doku is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Hamari Traoré (Rennes) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Benjamin Bourigeaud.
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jéremy Doku (Rennes).
Attempt missed. Adrien Hunou (Rennes) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Clément Grenier.
Offside, Rennes. Adrien Truffert tries a through ball, but Jéremy Doku is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Adrien Truffert (Rennes) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Clément Grenier (Rennes) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jéremy Doku.
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Clément Grenier (Rennes) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Hand ball by Romain Del Castillo (Rennes).
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
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