Serious Champions League business begins for Chelsea in February after Jose Mourinho’s men completed their unbeaten Group G campaign with a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.
Scorers: Chelsea - Fàbregas 8, Schürrle 16, Mikel 56; Sporting - Silva 50
The Blues had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Sporting hoping to join them ahead of Schalke.
A Cesc Fabregas penalty after Filipe Luis had been brought down in the area by Ricardo Esgaio and goals from Andre Schurrle and John Obi Mikel – his fifth goal in more than 300 Blues appearances – meant Sporting had to rely on Maribor avoiding defeat against Schalke. But the Germans won 1-0 in Slovenia to advance to the knockout stages.
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Chelsea had made six changes to the side which lost at Newcastle in the Premier League – the Blues’ first defeat in 24 matches this season – but strolled to a 2-0 lead within 16 minutes.
Jonathan Silva pulled a goal back five minutes into the second half with a volley past Petr Cech, but Mikel restored the two-goal advantage within six minutes. Fabregas’ inswinging free-kick was flicked on by Gary Cahill for Nemanja Matic and Mikel tapped it in on the line.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Zouma, Luis, Fabregas (Loftus-Cheek 83), Mikel, Matic, Salah (Remy 71), Costa, Schurrle (Ramires 74). Subs Not Used: Beeney, Ivanovic, Oscar, Drogba.
Sporting: Rui Patricio, Ricardo Esgaio, Mauricio, Paulo Oliveira, Silva, Joao Mario (Andre Martins 69), William Carvalho (Montero 60), Adrien Silva, Carrillo, Slimani, Diego Capel (Carlos Mane 60). Subs Not Used: Marcelo, Rosell, Sarr, Andre Geraldes.
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