Champions League - Group C
FK Qarabag0Chelsea4

FK Qarabag 0-4 Chelsea

Willian
Chelsea have reached the knockout round of the Champions League in 14 of their last 15 campaigns

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has asked for help from the media to highlight "strange" fixture scheduling as his side reached the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable victory against 10-man Qarabag.

Two goals from Willian, as well as spot-kicks from Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, confirmed the Blues will finish in the top two of Group C with a game to spare.

But after the game Conte reiterated his concern at having to play Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday, two days after completing a 5,000-mile roundtrip to Azerbaijan.

Chelsea had a similar turnaround between games with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City in September.

"To hear the complaints of the coach, someone has to help us. The press and the TV to underline the situation, because it is strange," said the Italian, whose side are third in the Premier League and two points above Liverpool.

"As you know very well the English League is very tough. There are six top teams that fight for the title. I don't want to complain, but this is the reality.

"Now we have to travel five hours and a half and then rest one day and then prepare the game against Liverpool, another big game like Manchester City. To create for the second time in one month and a half is not right."

Willian shines for Blues

Forward Willian had scored just one goal prior to this game this season - against Everton in the League Cup - but played a pivotal role in this win for the Blues, also winning two penalties.

After former Birmingham City midfielder Michel hit the bar for Qarabag, Chelsea were awarded their first spot kick when Rashad Sadygov was adjudged to have pulled down Willian inside the area. Sadygov was subsequently sent off and Hazard sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.

The visitors quickly added a second following a stunning passage of play which ended with Hazard backheeling the ball for Willian to side-foot home.

Chelsea beat Qarabag 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first Group C game between the two sides back in September and a repeat of such a scoreline looked likely with Antonio Conte's side capable of scoring with every attack.

Another foul on Willian midway through the second half allowed Fabregas to add a third from the spot before Willian's thunderous drive late on ensured Chelsea's place into the knockout round with a game to spare.

Chelsea, the last English team to win the Champions League when they triumphed in 2012, move top of their group with 10 points from five games, although Roma can reclaim top spot if they beat Atletico Madrid later on Wednesday.

Fearsome front three eases Conte concerns

Conte could have fielded a significantly weakened side to avoid overstretching his key players but with a win over Qarabag guaranteeing progression to the knockout round, the Italian clearly wanted to get the job done in Baku, rather than rely on needing a result in their final group game against Atletico Madrid.

He rested key striker Alvaro Morata but Hazard - superb so far this season for Chelsea - started as a 'false number nine', with Pedro and Willian alongside him. It was the same front three that lined up against Leicester in January, the trio's combination of pace, power and creativity pulled apart the Foxes defence in a 3-0 win on that occasion and it was a similar story on Wednesday.

Sadygov could only halt a powerful Willian run by tugging on the Chelsea winger's shirt inside the area. The Qarabag skipper was dismissed and Hazard despatched the penalty with ease.

If that decision was a little harsh on the hosts, the move for the second goal was worthy of winning any game. Pedro flicked a ball on for Willian, who then found Hazard and the Belgium international executed a superb backheel back into the path of the Brazilian, who stroked home.

At that the point the hosts effectively gave up on trying to get a result, instead switching to damage limitation mode as they looked to avoid another hefty defeat to the Blues.

That enabled Conte to think ahead to this weekend, bringing off Marcos Alonso and Hazard around the hour mark, but Willian stayed on, winning another penalty when his shirt was pulled again, before capping an impressive display with a powerful finish.

The Brazilian has largely been a bit-part player for the Blues this season, having started the club's last four games on the bench, but this performance - albeit against limited opposition - will give his manager much to consider heading into a busy period.

Man of the match - Willian

Willian
Willian, making his 200th appearance in all competitions for Chelsea, was a constant thorn in Qarabag's side with his powerful runs and strength

Fabregas joins elite club - the stats

  • Chelsea have booked their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 14th time in their last 15 appearances in the competition.
  • FK Qarabag have now failed to win their last six consecutive European games (including qualifiers), their longest winless streak since July 2009 (8).
  • The Blues have kept five clean sheets in their last five games in all competitions, they have nine clean sheets this season in total.
  • On his 200th appearance for Chelsea in all competitions, Willian scored a brace in the Champions League for the first time since November 2012 for Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Nordsjælland.
  • FK Qarabag are only the third team to pick up a red card in three consecutive Champions League games (also Bordeaux in 2000 and Juventus in 2001).
  • Eden Hazard has scored three goals in his last three Champions League appearances, as many as in his previous 19 combined.
  • Hazard both scored and assisted in a Champions League game for the first time in his career.
  • Cesc Fabregas became the fourth Spanish player to hit the 20-goal mark in the Champions League (also Raul 71, Fernando Morientes 33, Fernando Torres 20).

What next?

After making the 2,500 mile trip back to London Chelsea are back in Premier League in action on Saturday when they travel to Liverpool (17:30 GMT). The Blues' final Champions League group game is against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, 5 December (19:45 GMT).

Line-ups

FK Qarabag

  • 13Sehic
  • 5MedvedevBooked at 71mins
  • 52RzezniczakBooked at 41mins
  • 14SadiqovBooked at 19mins
  • 25Agolli
  • 2Qarayev
  • 77GuerrierSubstituted forYunuszadaat 81'minutes
  • 8Marcos Madera
  • 20Almeida de Oliveira
  • 11MadatovSubstituted forDiniyevat 45'minutes
  • 9NdlovuSubstituted forQuintana Sosaat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Kanibolotskiy
  • 7Amirquliyev
  • 22Ismayilov
  • 32Yunuszada
  • 90Seydaev
  • 91Diniyev
  • 99Quintana Sosa

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 30David Luiz
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 7KantéSubstituted forDrinkwaterat 75'minutes
  • 3AlonsoBooked at 53minsSubstituted forCahillat 58'minutes
  • 22Willian
  • 11Pedro
  • 10E HazardSubstituted forMorataat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Caballero
  • 6Drinkwater
  • 9Morata
  • 14Bakayoko
  • 24Cahill
  • 27Christensen
  • 66Sterling
Referee:
Jorge Sousa
Attendance:
67,100

Match Stats

Home TeamFK QarabagAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home4
Away18
Shots on Target
Home1
Away10
Corners
Home0
Away5
Fouls
Home5
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, FK Qarabag 0, Chelsea 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, FK Qarabag 0, Chelsea 4.

Offside, Chelsea. Cesc Fàbregas tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

Maksim Medvedev (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Willian (Chelsea).

Attempt saved. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by César Azpilicueta.

Substitution

Substitution, FK Qarabag. Dani Quintana replaces Dino Ndlovu.

Goal!

Goal! FK Qarabag 0, Chelsea 4. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pedro.

Substitution

Substitution, FK Qarabag. Elvin Yunuszada replaces Wilde-Donald Guerrier.

Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea).

Richard Almeida (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Wilde-Donald Guerrier (FK Qarabag) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt saved. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Daniel Drinkwater replaces N'Golo Kanté.

Goal!

Goal! FK Qarabag 0, Chelsea 3. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Booking

Maksim Medvedev (FK Qarabag) is shown the yellow card.

Penalty Chelsea. Willian draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Qara Qarayev (FK Qarabag) after a foul in the penalty area.

Offside, Chelsea. Willian tries a through ball, but César Azpilicueta is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Antonio Rüdiger with a through ball.

Offside, FK Qarabag. Míchel tries a through ball, but Richard Almeida is caught offside.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Wilde-Donald Guerrier.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Álvaro Morata replaces Eden Hazard.

Dino Ndlovu (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Luiz (Chelsea).

Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Gary Cahill replaces Marcos Alonso.

Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea).

Míchel (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marcos Alonso (Chelsea).

Wilde-Donald Guerrier (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Willian (Chelsea).

Maksim Medvedev (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a through ball.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Jakub Rzezniczak.

Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea).

Wilde-Donald Guerrier (FK Qarabag) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, FK Qarabag. Cosqun Diniyev replaces Mahir Madatov.

Second Half

Second Half begins FK Qarabag 0, Chelsea 2.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd5401102812
2FC Basel53029549
3CSKA Moscow530278-19
4Benfica5005112-110

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1PSG55002412315
2Bayern Munich5401105512
3Celtic5104517-123
4Anderlecht5005117-160

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea5311157810
2Roma52218628
3Atl Madrid51314316
4FK Qarabag5023213-112

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona532071611
2Juventus52215508
3Sporting52128717
4Olympiakos5014411-71

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool5230166109
2Sevilla5221111108
3Spartak Moscow51319636
4NK Maribor5023215-132

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City55001331015
2Shakhtar Donetsk530278-19
3Napoli520310916
4Feyenoord5005313-100

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Besiktas532094511
2FC Porto521210827
3RB Leipzig52129907
4Monaco5023411-72

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tottenham5410124813
2Real Madrid5311145910
3B Dortmund5023510-52
4Apoel Nicosia5023214-122
View full Champions League tables

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