Willian eases Chelsea into last 16 after early red card ends Qarabag chances

There is no manic special event from Antonio Conte and his players at the ultimate whistle, polite handshakes upgrading joyful punches of mid-air, but all in the guests’ rates could take satisfaction in employment properly done. Comfortable success in Baku has expanded Chelsea’s Champions Little league campaign in to the new-year knockout period. They may well not be thankful at Anfield on Sunday, when aching limbs will activate as they heave to cope with a wounded Liverpool, however the 5,000-mile circular visit to Azerbaijan has been distinctly worth it.

The ultimate group game against Atl?tico This town, a daunting potential customer when the section was attracted, will now basically determine the management of the section. “We’ve come to our first goal: to undergo in to the knockout,” Conte said. “Also to avoid the overall game with Atl?tico becoming decisive for all of us is vital. It’ll be a good chance now to have another rotation with my players.”

In a very crammed schedule where margin for mistake has always sensed so slim, screening the top coach’s mood approximately his players’ fitness levels, a comparatively relaxed night time in early Dec is usually to be cherished.
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In the framework of what in the end felt an appropriate night’s work it was easy to neglect that Qarabag, much increased from the medial side who sunk without track at Stamford Bridge on debut as of this level in Sept, had in the beginning threatened their site visitors. Indeed, got their ex – Birmingham City midfielder Michel transformed an early on chance somewhat than clip his shot from the crossbar when it experienced seemed better to score in early stages, then this may have been a distinctly more uncomfortable occasion. Instead the hosts were blunted by Rashad Sadygov’s termination and Chelsea’s active energy duly prevailed.

Conte could admire the sophistication with which his players manoeuvred the ball, with David Luiz effectively reintegrated after his explain of favour and the medial side productive and untroubled once in advance.

The head mentor has seen his team succeed successive away video games 4-0 and was even in a position to withdraw the wonderful Eden Threat and overworked Marcos Alonso – his only fit kept wing-back – a long time before the finish, with really the only disappointment his reluctance to bloodstream the 18-year-old Dujon Sterling from the bench. Given the formality the competition acquired become, capped by Willian’s blistering 4th goal rasped in from distance near to the end, a Western debut may have added to the overall sense of satisfaction. Sterling must wait.

Lots of the locals acquired departed by enough time Willian plundered his second 5 minutes from time, exploiting space just beyond your charges area to conquer the diving Ibrahim Sehic. Almost all kept choked in anticlimax, those motivating pulls against Atl?tico buried beneath another avalanche of Chelsea goals, and grumbling at the identified eccentricities of the referee, Manuel de Sousa. The Portuguese got spied Sadygov’s clumsy touch on Willian’s back again 19 minutes in, the Brazilian crumpling to the turf to promise the charges with the captain, much to his own bewilderment, duly dismissed.
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Gurban Gurbanov, the house team’s administrator, reluctantly conceded the offence may have warranted a charges, but the dual punishment seemed tough and leant itself to conspiracy ideas. “Maybe if we weren’t a tiny country and a tiny team, your choice may have been different,” he offered. “Chelsea didn’t need that red greeting card.” The masses wailed their disapproval when the event was replayed on the best monitors at half-time, and possessed further cause to vent their spleen at De Sousa prior to the end.


Irrespective, this became a procession as soon as Hazard transformed from the location, becoming Belgium’s leading scorer – with eight – in the Champions Category. Conte will have purred at the efficiency of which his players carved open up competitors now steeled just to defend, particularly for his or her second: a culmination of clean and accurate moves between Cesc F?bregas, Pedro, Willian and Threat. The Belgian eventually back-heeled his assist square, dizzied markers failing woefully to foresee such impudence, for Willian to accumulate and calmly complete beyond the helpless Sehic.

The goalkeeper excelled thereafter to refuse Pedro, Willian and Threat – a live-wire entrance three, humming disconcertingly around panicked defenders – and really should not need been given an opportunity by the replacement ?lvaro Morata, who steered a go large from close range with out a marker around the corner. Instead Gara Garayev’s tug on Willian’s make, yanking back again his clothing, was penalised by the referee for another delicate penalty honor. “A small amount of contact,” the Brazilian said post-match. “So, for me personally, it was a charges. I don’t believe you folks thought it was …” The local people definitely didn’t, but F?bregas turned at the next attempt anyway.

They were left with 10 goals showing from two brushes with Qarabag – a tally that damns Diego Simeone’s Atl?tico even more – and reason to trust the restoration is complete from the shambles in Rome. There is reward for the team’s “character”, “commitment” and “great need to fight”, which is merely as well because there would rarely have been time and energy to cram in another group dressing down, like this endured at Cobham following the humiliation in Italy, prior to the game at Anfield on Sunday. Instead, key players have shown some zest as well as others have been rested with Liverpool at heart. They might be patched up, their arrangements rushed, but Chelsea will happen to be Merseyside buoyed by Western european progress.