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.