Champions League: Chelsea 3-1 Sporting

Published December 10th, 2014 - 10:28 GMT

Chelsea finished their Champions League group stage campaign unbeaten with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Sporting at Stamford Bridge.

Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Filipe Luis was brought down by Ricardo Esgaio inside the first ten minutes.

Andre Schurrle added a second shortly after, with a fierce shot from the edge of the box following good work by Nemanja Matic.

Sporting clawed a goal back in the second half through Jonathan Silva, but John Obi Mikel restored the home side's advantage and secured all three points, while Schalke's victory over Maribor meant the Lisbon side did not qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.

Jose Mourinho made six changes after Chelsea's first loss of the season at Newcastle United on Saturday as the likes of Schurrle, goalkeeper Petr Cech and highly rated defender Kurt Zouma came in.

The visitors, also missing the suspended Cedric, were crucially without Manchester United loanee Nani - scorer in four of their five Champions League matches this season - due to a thigh injury and his absence robbed Sporting of much of their dynamism.

And Chelsea were quickly ahead after Esgaio clumsily fouled Filipe Luis just inside the penalty area.

It was a needless foul and Fabregas made no mistake from the spot, slotting straight down the middle.

Chelsea's next meaningful attack resulted in another goal, as Nemanja Matic - who scored in his side's 1-0 win at Sporting in September - drove forward with purpose, before finding Schurrle.

The Germany international quickly turned before firing a 20-yard effort into the bottom-left corner - even if goalkeeper Rui Patricio got a hand to it.

Patricio did better to keep out Schurrle's effort on the bounce in the 23rd minute, while Matic curled a fizzing left-footed strike just over after Mohamed Salah drew a swarm of Sporting defenders towards him on the left.

Sporting were neat on the ball and rarely made errors, but simply could not compete with Chelsea's speed and power.

And although they created a decent chance when the ball spilled to Diego Capel after a goalmouth scramble, Cech was alert to come off his line and block the Spaniard's strike, keeping Chelsea two goals ahead at the break.

The visitors did pull a goal back just after the interval, though, after Andre Carrillo stormed past Luis on the right and swung a dangerous cross in.

Schurrle tried to head clear, but the ball hit his back and bounced invitingly to Jonathan Silva, who chested it down before blasting a finish into the left corner.

The goal buoyed by the travelling fans, but Chelsea's riposte was swift and devastating.

First, Schurrle played in Salah and, although his excellent effort forced a great save from Rui Patricio in the 52nd minute, Chelsea did not have to wait long for a third goal.

Fabregas swung in a free-kick from the left and Mikel nipped in front of Matic to meet Gary Cahill's flick-on and stab home from less than a yard.

Cech made a good save to keep out Islam Slimani's header, following good work from Carlos Mane down the right, but that was as close as Sporting got to a second.

The visitors did continue to apply pressure until the final whistle, as Chelsea - who handed 18-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek a senior debut - were happy to sit back and rest on their lead.


Copyright © 2022 Goal.com All rights reserved.

You may also like