Chelsea took a huge step towards the Champions League knockout stages with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Malmo in Sweden on Tuesday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side, without forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner because of injury, were frustrated in front of goal and found a breakthrough hard to come by until Hakim Ziyech converted Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross in the 56th minute.
Until then the Champions League holders had laboured in front of a noisy home crowd at the Eleda Stadion, creating several opportunities but not clear-cut chances.
Thiago Silva saw an effort cleared off the line as Chelsea pushed for a second and Kai Havertz, in the de facto striker role, had a shot saved by Malmo goalkeeper Johan Dahlin.
United States international Christian Pulisic returned from injury to make the bench for Chelsea, coming on as a 74th minute substitute to get his first minutes since August.
Chelsea move onto nine points from four games in Group H and three points behind leaders Juventus.