Chelsea beat Malmo 1-0 in Sweden thanks to a Hakim Ziyech strike but an expected glut of goals never materialised against the defensive-minded hosts in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.
Chelsea, who hammered Malmo 4-0 when the sides met in London two weeks ago, remain second in the standings, level on nine points with leaders Juventus, who meet Zenit St. Petersburg later on Tuesday. Malmo remain bottom without a point.
The Swedish champions and current league leaders frustrated their visitors in the opening 45 minutes as goalkeeper Johan Dahlin mixed up some superb saves with a few hair-raising spills as his side were forced to defend for long periods.
Chelsea finally made the breakthrough in the 56th minute as Callum Hudson-Odoi out-paced Franz Brorsson and played a perfect ball across the face of the goal for Ziyech to slam home what proved to be the winner in a game that turned out to be tougher than expected for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
And in Group G, Germany’s Wolfsburg beat Austria’s RB Salzburg 2 – 1.
• Wolfsburg 2 – 1 RB Salzburg
• Malmö FF 0 – 1 Chelsea