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Chelsea match decade-old clean sheet mark in Champions League win over Rennes as backline continues to shine

The Blues’ defensive improvements were on display once again on Wednesday as they picked up another victory at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s defensive bounce back continued on Wednesday as the Blues kept yet another clean sheet in their Champions League victory over Rennes.

The Blues cruised to a 3-0 win over the Ligue 1 side, taking them top of the group with seven points from their first three group stage matches.

Once again, Chelsea’s backline held firm with the Blues have bouncing back from early-season criticisms of the team’s defensive shape.

The Blues conceded 11 goals from their first five Premier League matches, with Frank Lampard’s side being questioned for their lapses in defence, but with Wednesday’s win Chelsea have now kept five consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, erasing virtually all of those defensive doubts.

Chelsea have now kept five successive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since 2010. That run, from September to October, came under Carlo Ancelotti in a season that saw the club finish second in the Premier League.

Having also not allowed a goal in consecutive Champions League matches, the Blues have now kept three straight clean sheets in the continental competition for the first time since 2009-10.

Chelsea’s defensive improvements coincide with the arrival of Edouard Mendy, who has allowed just one goal in seven games since joining the club from Rennes.

While Chelsea’s backline has shone, the attack has remained every bit as potent.

After seeing Timo Werner fire a pair of finishes from the penalty spot in the first half, Tammy Abraham added Chelsea’s third with a goal in the 50th minute. With his goal, Abraham became the first player to score in three consecutive Champions League starts for Chelsea since Willian in 2015.

In addition, he also became the first Englishman to do so since Lampard in 2008.

It’s not the only way he Abraham matched Lampard on Wednesday, as Reece James’ assist on the forward’s goal made that occasion the first time two Englishmen have combined for a Champions League goals for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since March 2012.

That combination included Lampard, who provided an assist to John Terry in a clash with Napoli.

Next up for Chelsea is a match against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge this weekend before players depart for the international break.

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