UEFA Champions League
Result: Qarabag 0-4 Chelsea
Date: 22 November 2017
Venue: Baku Olympic Stadium
Chelsea sealed their place in the UEFA Champions league last 16 with a 4-0 drubbing of Dino Ndlovu's Qarabağ at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
The hosts started brightly and almost took a shock lead in the 13th minute. Míchel shot from close range and the ball rattled the post with Thibaut Courtois well beaten following some slick passing in the build-up.
However, the complexion of the game changed in the 19th minute, when Qarabağ captain Rashad Sadygov was controversially sent off for an innocuous challenge on Willian in the penalty area. Eden Hazard then calmly slotted the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.
Chelsea dominated from there on and scored again in the 36th minute. Willian passed to Hazard, who cleverly flicked the ball back to the Brazilian inside the box, teeing him up for the finish.
Cesc Fàbregas was instrumental in orchestrating Chelsea’s attacks. In the 52nd minute, he picked out Pedro with a particularly exquisite ball over the top. However, the former Barcelona winger took too long to shoot and allowed Ibrahim Šehić to close down the angle and save his effort.
The Blues continued to push for a third goal. Hazard drew a fine save from Šehić in the 64th minute, right before being replaced by Álvaro Morata.
The Spanish striker had an instant impact on the game, causing nightmares for the home defence. He put the ball in the back of the net in the 70th minute, but the goal was disallowed as César Azpilicueta was ruled to have been offside in the build-up.
However, shortly afterwards, Chelsea struck again from the penalty spot. Gara Garayev tugged Willian in the penalty area and Fàbregas fired a perfectly-placed shot into the bottom corner.
Willian put the cherry on top in the 85th minute as he rifled the ball past Šehić with a stunning strike from just outside the box.
As a result, Chelsea moved to 10 points from five games. Ahead of Roma’s game against Atlético, they went top of Group C and an unassailable seven points ahead of the third-placed Madrid giants.