Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chelsea move joint top of Group G in the Champions League after a comfortable win at Maccabi Tel Aviv.


League after a comfortable win at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Gary Cahill poked home the opener after his initial header was saved, before ex-Chelsea player Tal Ben Haim was sent off for a wild lunge on Diego Costa.

Willian added a second from a free-kick, before headers from Oscar and Kurt Zouma wrapped up the win.
Dynamo Kiev's win against Porto means Chelsea need a point in their final group game to reach the last 16.
The Blues, level on 10 points with Porto and two ahead of Dynamo Kiev, host the Portuguese side at Stamford Bridge on 9 December.

A big win, but room for improvement

Mourinho believes his side are beginning to get their confidence back after a dismal start to the season but, despite taking an early lead through Cahill, it took until the 73rd minute before the Blues made the game safe.
For all their patient build-up Chelsea fell short in final third, prompting Mourinho to cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline.
Jose Mourinho
Willian, who was always dangerous from set-pieces, enabled Mourinho to breathe easy and from then on the fight evaporated from the hosts, allowing Oscar and substitute Zouma to add gloss to the scoreline.
In the end, it was a comfortable win, but Mourinho will know his side will need to show more in their crucial clash with Porto to ensure they get the result they need to progress.

Willian key for Chelsea

Once again, a number of Chelsea's big players failed to impress.
Eden Hazard struggled to stamp his authority on the game, while Costa was unable trouble home keeper Predrag Rajkovic.
Mourinho certainly appeared unhappy with Costa's first-half performance, with the two having an exchange of words as they made their way to the tunnel at the break while Loic Remy was sent out to warm up.
Willian, though, stood out. The midfielder has been impressive from set-pieces all season and it was from his corner that Chelsea scored their first, before his second-half strike took his tally from free-kicks this season to six - the most of any player in Europe's top five leagues.

Man of the match - Willian


What the manager said

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, speaking to BT Sport: "The win is very important, especially with what happened in Porto (a 2-0 loss to Dynamo Kiev). We really needed to win this match.
"It is also an important two victories in a few days. I hope confidence comes.
"It was important because we went a lot time without consecutive victories. To do that is great."

The stats you need to know

  • Gary Cahill has scored exactly once in each of the last four Champions League seasons.
  • Tal Ben Haim is the 11th player to see red against Chelsea in the Champions League.
  • The Blues have scored in all but one of their last 14 Champions League games.
  • Oscar has scored two in his last four CL games, having gone 16 without a goal in the competition.
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv have won just one of their 11 Champions League matches, finding the net in just four of those games.

What next?

Chelsea travel to Tottenham on Sunday looking for their second successive win in the Premier League. Their final Champions League group-stage game is at home to Porto on 9 December.

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