Match ends, Sporting Lisbon 0, Chelsea 1.
- Matic goal puts Chelsea top of Group G
- Sporting keeper Patricio makes six saves
- Terry plays 100th Champions League game
Nemanja Matic scored a first-half header as Chelsea edged out Sporting Lisbon in a breathless encounter to go top of Champions League Group G.
Brimming with pace and purpose, Chelsea almost took the lead inside two minutes when Diego Costa raced clear but Rui Patricio smothered his effort.
Andre Schurrle wasted several openings before Matic rose to loop a Cesc Fabregas free-kick over Patricio.
Sporting improved after the break but Chelsea held on for an important win.
Without Patricio's heroics and their own wasteful finishing, Chelsea could easily have won by a more convincing margin.
But boss Jose Mourinho, whose side were held 1-1 at home by Schalke in their first group game, will be nonetheless delighted to have picked up three points against a team that were unbeaten in 16 home matches in European competition.
|Champions League Group G table|
He will be equally pleased that Costa put his fragile hamstring through a full 90 minutes only three days after Chelsea's 3-0 Premier League victory over Aston Villa.
The Spain striker, who has scored eight goals in his first six Premier League games, was a constant menace and could have scored on at least three occasions.
He should have put his team ahead in the second minute when he received Fabregas's threaded pass but his low shot was saved by Patricio with his legs.
The keeper was on hand again to smother Schurrle's close-range effort after Oscar had located another gap in the Sporting defence.
Schurrle had an even better chance moments later when Costa's cut-back teed him up in front of goal, but the Germany international dragged his shot wastefully wide.
Chelsea's pressure finally told when they took the lead from a set-piece. Fabregas's delivery from the left found an unmarked Matic at the far post and the midfielder, who used to play for Sporting's arch-rivals Benfica, planted a header over Patricio.
|Chelsea captain John Terry became the sixth English player to make 100 appearances in the Champions League|
|The other five are Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard|
Sporting were more energetic in the second half with Nani to the fore. The Manchester United loanee hammered one long-range effort wide and fired another into the side-netting.
In between, Chelsea again sprang the Sporting offside trap, but Patricio tore off his line to thwart Oscar.
In a frantic final 15 minutes there were openings at both ends.
Chelsea left-back Filipe Luis pulled a strike wide after a flowing counter-attack and substitute Mohamed Salah blasted at Patricio when he was through on goal.
At the other end, Nani curled a long-range shot narrowly past the post and Fredy Montero headed wide.
Chelsea clung on and will now turn their attention to Sunday's Premier League meeting with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
"This is not knockout where goals are fundamental. This is points. We lost two points at home; we recovered that.
"Because of the other draw, we put ourselves not in a comfortable position, but in one where we can control our destiny.
"We play two games against Maribor. If we manage six points, that would be 10 and job done.
"Now we have just to focus on beating Maribor, which I believe is not easy. To draw in Germany means something."
Sporting manager Marco Silva:
"We mustn't forget the merit of the opponent. We didn't start in a strong manner, but the match balanced out. We were able to create some equality in the flow of the game, but then showed a lack of attention for Chelsea's goal.
"In the second half we had to take risks. We had some chances, probably Chelsea had more chances.
"Ultimately it was a great show. We were able to entertain our fans. I think they went home content.
"That's good tonic for the next game, which we must face with the same determination we showed in the second half."
- 1Rui Patrício
- 41Cédric SoaresBooked at 74mins
- 3Dos Santos NascimentoBooked at 63minsSubstituted forRodrigues de Oliveiraat 63'minutes
- 33Cristian Silva
- 17João MárioBooked at 43mins
- 14William CarvalhoBooked at 25mins
- 23Adrien SilvaSubstituted forMonteroat 81'minutes
- 18CarrilloSubstituted forCapelat 81'minutes
- 77Almeida da Cunha
- 8Soares Martins
- 24Rosell Argerich
- 26Rodrigues de Oliveira
- 2IvanovicBooked at 58mins
- 3Filipe LuísBooked at 75mins
- 4FàbregasBooked at 90mins
- 14SchürrleSubstituted forWillianat 58'minutes
- 8OscarSubstituted forMikelat 71'minutes
- 10E HazardBooked at 72minsSubstituted forSalahat 84'minutes
- 19Diego Costa
- Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sporting Lisbon 0, Chelsea 1.
Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea).
Fredy Montero (Sporting Lisbon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Mohamed Salah (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a through ball.
Attempt saved. Cédric Soares (Sporting Lisbon) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Corner, Sporting Lisbon. Conceded by John Obi Mikel.
Attempt blocked. William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Fredy Montero (Sporting Lisbon) header from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan Silva with a cross.
Foul by John Obi Mikel (Chelsea).
William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Chelsea. Nemanja Matic tries a through ball, but Diego Costa is caught offside.
Filipe Luis (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Nani (Sporting Lisbon).
Attempt missed. Nani (Sporting Lisbon) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.
Attempt missed. Filipe Luis (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Willian.
Foul by John Obi Mikel (Chelsea).
Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.