A FRONT three of Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud may not be the future for Chelsea.
But for now, and particularly in the Europa League, they will most certainly do.
Pedro, 31, was a livewire against Kiev and would have had a hat-trick were it not for some wasteful finishing.
In the end, the Spaniard grabbed just the opener as he played a delightful one-two with 32-year-old Giroud before firing through the keeper’s legs.
Willian, a relative whipper-snapper at 30, made up for Pedro’s profligacy by curling home a 25-yard free-kick just after the hour to kill the tie.
It was a carbon-copy of the stunning set-piece he blasted to beat Kiev at Stamford Bridge four years ago in the Champions League.
They all may be veterans in the twilight of their Blues’ careers.
Yet against the elite of Ukrainian football, they looked far too good and extremely capable of winning Europe’s secondary club competition – which would qualify the club for the one it really wants to be in.
Giroud is likely to leave the club this summer.
His contract is up and though Chelsea have the option to extend it another year, they are unlikely to.
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The World Cup winner seems fine with that decision after growing tired of playing second fiddle to Alvaro Morata and now Gonzalo Higuain.
Should he depart, there will be a scramble for his services if his classy assist here is anything to go by.
The ex-Arsenal man has always had a touch akin to a skilled artist with a paintbrush and he displayed it brilliantly to nutmeg Artem Shabanov with a backheel, sending in Pedro to open the scoring.
Giroud will never be prolific – he did not have a shot here – but there is a reason why players like Eden Hazard enjoy playing with the selfless striker so much.
As for Willian and Pedro, they are both out of contract in the summer of 2020, along with Hazard and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The Stamford Bridge faithful gave a loud cheer when Hudson-Odoi was introduced late on for Willian, desperately wanting the academy product to become a first-team regular.
Hudson-Odoi showed just why as he curled home superbly with a minute to go to give his side a huge advantage going into the second leg.
Keeping hold of the 18-year-old is proving difficult enough given the interest from Bayern Munich, who had bids rejected in January.
But if they can and the whizkid is convinced to sign a new deal, he will represent the future along with the incoming Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.
Giroud will soon become Chelsea’s past and Willian and Pedro are unlikely to be far behind him.
But they certainly have the quality in the here and now to win the club one last trophy in a tournament where Chelsea have become favourites.