23 November 2017
Chelsea’s in-form forward, Eden Hazard, would have loved to see his team score more the the 4-goals they managed against Qarabag on Wednesday.
What the result means for Chelsea
With the result, the Blues secured their knockout berth in the UEFA Champions League after. This makes it 14 in 15 attempts to qualify from group stage for Chelsea.
Crediting his teammate’s performance for the win, Hazard said after the match, “It is easy to play with these kind of players.”
“We did everything well. The only thing was we conceded the first chance and if Qarabag scored, maybe it could have made it different, but we scored four goals and we did well. We should have scored more but we did not concede so that is good,” the in-form Belgian, who scored the opener, added.
Qarabag, who had lost 6-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, could have taken the lead early on via Michel, but the midfielder’s shot hit the post after a fast break had caught the Premier League giants cold.
Disaster struck for the hosts when captain, Rashad Sadygov, was sent off in the 19th minute for bringing Willian down in the box and from then on, the result of the tie was beyond doubt.
After Hazard coolly dispatched the penalty, Willian would double the visitors’ advantage in the 36th minute.
The visitors were awarded another spot-kick in the second-half and Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas converted to give the Blues some breathing space. Willian would then add a fourth late in the 90th minute to cap off a memorable outing for Antonio Conte’s men.
What next for Chelsea (Champions League)
While Chelsea have secured their progression to the next round, the Blues are still not assured of top spot and they have a testing home fixture against Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid left for the final Matchday of the UEFA Champions League group-stages.
What next for Chelsea (Premier League)
Chelsea play Liverpool in the highlight Premier League tie of the weekend on Saturday and with leaders Manchester City already nine points clear, the Blues cannot afford to drop points at Anfield and will need their big guns firing on all cylinders.
“We have a big game on Saturday so it was good for some players to have a rest today,” Hazard stated as he added, “I came off (in the second half), N’Golo (Kante) also. We are ready for Saturday”.
Club record-signing Alvaro Morata started from the bench as Conte sought to rotate his squad ahead of a busy run of games. Gary Cahill, Tiemoue Bakayoko were other high-profile names who were kept on the bench for the mid-week tie.