Callum Hudson-Odoi scored a wonderful goal in the second half when Chelsea entered the Europa League in the second round with a victory over Malmo at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, who led 2-1 on the way, started slowly but improved significantly after the break.
Olivier Giroud gave them the lead of the night, touching home, before Ross Barkley fluctuated in punishment after Rasmus Bengtsson had been sent off.
Hudson-Odoi, 18, then drove from the right before firing at the end of the third.
It remains to be seen whether this result will ease the pressure on the manager of the Blues Maurizio Sarri.
The next two games – against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, and Tottenham in the Premier League next week – will be more important tests.
Malmo error turning point for Blues
Given the quality of their performance, the score perhaps flatters Chelsea; until the first goal seemed that their tactics & # 39; Sarri-ball & # 39; – based on possession and method – would have been disappointed by the lack of a final product.
Malmo had defended himself well. Their high line put the defense Blues and Mateo Kovacic – replacing Jorginho in the position of deep playmaker – under a strong pressure at the start of the first half.
Sarri & # 39; s Blues then did what they did so often this season, dominating possession, but goalkeeper Johan Dahlin did not have to stretch before the interval.
But the mistakes began to creep into Malmo's performance after the break – and the first led to Chelsea's opening goal. N & # 39; Golo Kante pounced on the header of Lasse Nielsen, pushes towards the area and widens the ball to Willian. The Brazilian chose Giroud in the six-yard area and scored his sixth goal at home in the last five games of the Chelsea Europa League.
The Blues doubled their lead a few seconds after Bengtsson was shown a second yellow for a foul on Emerson. Barkley, who also scored in the first leg, made a final point that left Dahlin rooted on the spot.
The third came six minutes from the end: Hudson-Odoi collected an excellent deflection on Willian's cross, bagging into the area and firing an angled shot over the Malmo goalkeeper.
Did Hudson-Odoi do enough to start Wembley?
With the playmaker Eden Hazard on the bench, the responsibility for providing the spark of Chelsea fell on Hudson-Odoi.
This was her first departure from the FA Cup fourth round match against Nottingham Forest at the start of January, and her selection was met with one of the biggest applause of the evening.
The teenager did not disappoint the support of the house. During a first time turgid, he raised the darkness when, narrow on the side line, he passed four defenders.
His last goal was well taken and deserved. Many Chelsea fans hope the Academy graduate has done enough to earn a place on Sunday's team.
Will you be better than Guardiola? – the statistics
- Chelsea have won each of their last seven home games in the Europa League, scoring at least three goals in six of these games (20 in total – 2.86 per game on average).
- The Swedish teams have won only once in the last eight European matches in the English teams, drawing two and losing five.
- Sarri has won 28 of his 43 opening matches in office of Chelsea in all competitions (D6 L9), one more than Pep Guardiola managed in his first 43 games with Manchester City (27 D9 L7).
- Giroud is the first player to score in five consecutive European League appearances for a British club (six goals in total) from Romelu Lukaku for Everton in March 2015.
- Willian, who made his 200th start for Chelsea in all competitions, has recorded three assists in his last four games – as many as he did in his previous 25 games.
- Chelsea have scored three direct free-kicks in the Europa League this season, two more than any other team in the competition.
- From the start of 2015-2016, Chelsea scored 20 direct free-kick goals in all competitions – six more than any other Premier League team at the time.
- Hudson-Odoi has been directly involved in six goals in the last six starts of Chelsea in all competitions (three goals, three assists).
Chelsea are at Wembley on Sunday for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City (16:30 GMT).