Chelsea stormed into the Europa League quarter-finals in grand style following an 8-0 aggregate win over Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 16. A hat-trick from Olivier Giroud along with goals from Marcos Alonso and Hudson-Odoi gave Chelsea a handsome 5-0 victory in Ukraine that sealed a huge 8-0 aggregate victory.
Chelsea were dominant in Ukraine from start to finish, and the Blues showed that their level is indeed beyond the Europa League and should be contesting in the Champions League.
Another beautiful thing from Thursday’s game is the performance of academy stars Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The two academy products were brilliant in that game and among the best performers on the pitch for Chelsea.
Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has hailed Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi for their performances, and also revealed his disappointment that youngster Ethan Ampadu wasn’t given a run-in.
Ampadu joined Chelsea in 2017 from Exeter City as a 16-year-old, and the 18-year-old has shown in the few games that he has played for Chelsea that he has the potential to be one of the best players in the game.
The Wales international hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football this season and has been restricted to the odd run-out in cup competitions, playing five times in the Europa League and FA Cup.
Hargreaves is disappointed Ampadu didn’t at least make the squad to face Dynamo Kiev, and points to Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu as three real diamonds in the Chelsea squad.
“Hudson-Odoi, every time I watch him play he’s great, and Ampadu is the same. Every time you watch him play he’s cool, calm, good in possession,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.
“The biggest compliment you can make to him is that he plays like a seasoned veteran. I think Hudson-Odoi’s decision-making is very good when he plays and Ampadu, every time he plays he plays great.
“I’d love to see him get more opportunities. It’s disappointing for Chelsea fans that he’s not getting the opportunities that he could do.
“I thought Loftus-Cheek, again, was terrific today. They’ve got three real diamonds in there in Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek and Ampadu, I just want them to get more opportunities because they are so, so good.”
Chelsea have been drawn to face Czech Republic side Slavia Prague in the quarterfinals, and the Blues are one of the heavyweights tipped to win this competition.