Chelsea beats Qarabag 4-0, reaches Champions League last 16

Chelsea's Willian, left is congratulated by teammate Chelsea's Antonio Ruediger, after scoring his sides second goal of the game during their Champions League, group C, soccer match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea at the Baku Olympic stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game from the penalty spot during their Champions League, group C, soccer match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea at the Baku Olympic stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte gestures to his players from the sidelines during their Champions League, group C, soccer match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea at the Baku Olympic stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Willian helped to sweep Chelsea into the knockout stage of the Champions League with a game to spare Wednesday, winning a game-changing penalty and also scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over 10-man Qarabag.

The win assured Chelsea of a top-two finish in Group C and left the 2012 European champion at the top with a two-point lead over Roma, which lost 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in the group's other game.

Chelsea's match turned on the 19th-minute sending-off of Qarabag defender Rashad F. Sadygov, who received a straight red card for tugging back Willian just inside the area as the Chelsea forward ran onto Eden Hazard's pass.

Hazard, who started as the lone striker with Alvaro Morata on the bench, stroked home the penalty for a sixth goal in his last seven games since returning from a broken ankle.

The Belgium international turned provider in Chelsea's well-worked team goal in the 36th minute, back-heeling the ball into the path of Willian as part of a one-two to allow the Brazilian to side-foot a finish into the bottom corner.

There was little chance of Qarabag, the first Azerbaijan team to reach the group stage of the Champions League, stopping Chelsea from becoming the seventh club into the last 16. And it was a damage-limitation exercise for the hosts thereafter.

That suited Chelsea, which eased off in view of its tough-looking trip to Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte even had the luxury of substituting left wing back Marcos Alonso and Hazard around the hour mark.

That meant Hazard was off the field when Chelsea was awarded a second penalty, for a tug on Willian by Gara Garayev. Cesc Fabregas tucked his spot kick away, only for it to be ruled out for encroachment, but the midfielder converted at the second attempt, too.

Willian made the victory even more emphatic by driving home a low finish from 25 meters in the 85th, taking Chelsea's tally of goals against Qarabag in the group stage to 10. The English team won 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in September.

Qarabag was used to playing with 10 men, having had players sent off in each of its last two Champions League outings — impressive draws home and away to Atletico.

The home side, which had given Chelsea an early scare by hitting the crossbar through Michel in the 13th minute, has two points from its five games and cannot advance.

___

More AP Champions League soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/ChampionsLeague

Must Read

Austrian official does not expect new contract...

Sep 5, 2017

Austria coach Marcel Koller may be in charge of the national team for the last time against Georgia

Stoch wins 3rd straight 4 Hills Tour stop,...

Jan 4, 2018

Polish ski jumper Stoch wins 3rd straight stop of 4 Hills Tour, Germany's Freitag crashes

Women's World Cup ski races doubtful due to...

Jan 12, 2018

Women's World Cup ski races in Austria doubtful due to weakened course after rain, mild temperatures

Italian skier Marsaglia leads World Cup downhill...

Jan 18, 2018

Italian skier Marsaglia leads final training for World Cup downhill on shortened Streif course

Sports minister apologizes to Kristoffersen for...

Jan 24, 2018

Austrian minister of sports apologizes to skier Henrik Kristoffersen for snowballs thrown at him...

Search

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysportsclub.com

Subscribe Now!