Champions League

Chelsea on brink of last 16

2015-11-25 07:00
Jose Mourinho (AFP)

Haifa - Chelsea cruised to an easy 4-0 Champions League victory over 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv in Haifa on Tuesday to close in on the last 16.

The victory, coupled with Dynamo Kiev's 2-0 win at Porto, means Chelsea only need a draw at home to the Portuguese in two weeks to guarantee their passage to the knockout stage.

Gary Cahill gave the English Premier League champions a first-half lead before former Blues centre-half Tal Ben Haim was sent off just before the break.

Chelsea turned the screw in the last 17 minutes as Brazilians Willian and Oscar, and French centre-back Kurt Zouma all found the net.

"Very important, especially with what happened in Porto we really needed to win this match, and also important to get two victories in a few days," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told BT Sport.

The London club have been struggling for form all season but this victory follows a 1-0 home win over Norwich City in the Premier League at the weekend and Mourinho added: "I hope morale comes, tranquility comes, confidence comes."

The Israeli champions got off to a promising start as midfielder Dor Peretz sent a header just wide on three minutes.

In the fifth minute, Maccabi defender Eli Dasa had another opportunity to give the hosts, who had lost all their previous group games, a surprising lead, but he was way off target with his shot.

Chelsea controlled possession and had created several dangerous chances before taking a deserved lead in the 20th minute when centre-back Cahill tapped in a rebound following a wonderful save from goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

But perhaps the most pivotal moment came in the 40th minute when the referee controversially gave Ben Haim a straight red card for kicking out at Diego Costa.

The home crowd jeered and Ben Haim looked shocked but television replays suggested the referee's decision was fair.

Despite being down to 10 men, Maccabi got off to a determined start in the second half but they couldn't threaten Asmir Begovic's goal.

In the 73rd minute, Brazil international Willian scored a spectacular free-kick that left Rajkovic rooted to his line.

Willian is now Chelsea's leading scorer in this Champions League campaign with four goals.

Three minutes later fellow Brazil international Oscar headed in a perfect cross from left-back Abdul Baba Rahman to give Chelsea a commanding 3-0 lead.

Some Maccabi supporters began heading for the exit but there was worse still to come for the hosts as Zouma headed home deep into injury time.

Chelsea had also defeated Maccabi 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in the opening group match.

The result meant the Israelis can no longer even finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

Chelsea are level on 10 points with Porto while Dynamo Kiev are two points further back.

All three could finish level on points at the end if the Ukrainians win at home to Maccabi and the other two sides draw in west London.

In that case, Dynamo would win the group and Porto would drop into the Europa League.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  champions league  |  jose mourinho  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.