Chelsea responded to their poor start to the Premier League season with a comfortable win in their Champions League opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Eden Hazard blasted a penalty over the bar early on against the Israeli side.
The goal came soon after when Willian’s 35-yard free-kick evaded a crowd of players to bounce into the net.
Oscar doubled the lead from the spot, after Diego Costa was fouled, before the latter volleyed home and then Cesc Fabregas tapped in.
Mourinho still reigns in Europe
Chelsea went into the match under real pressure after making their worst league start to a season since 1986, with only one win.
In 2007, a slow start to the season followed by 1-1 draw at home to Norwegian side Rosenborg in the Champions League led to Jose Mourinho’s exit, and the Blues were desperate to avoid a similar European upset.
The pressure only increased when Hazard missed from the spot but, with the fans audibly behind manager Mourinho, the Blues never looked in danger of being upset by Israel’s champions.
While Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal lost their openers, Mourinho – who has won the competition twice – made light of all the pre-match crisis talk as Chelsea cruised to victory, despite fielding an experimental side.
Has ‘the special one’ run out of patience?
Seeing John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic on the bench suggested Mourinho has had enough with his side’s dismal start to the season.
Some may point to having Saturday’s visit of Arsenal to think about, but leaving out his tried and trusted was a big call and a big message to his squad.
Willian was one player who took his opportunity with a very lively first quarter of the match on the right flank, before limping off with a hamstring injury, while 19-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek looked assured.
Ghana’s Baba Rahman made his debut at right-back and looked sloppy in possession at times but it was difficult to judge anyone defensively against a poor Maccabi Tel Aviv.
How did Costa and Hazard play?
Costa emerged from the bench to earn Chelsea a penalty for their second goal. He then scored his first in the Champions League for the Blues with a fortuitous volley.
The Spain international has endured a tough start to the campaign, with one goal compared to seven at this stage last time round, but looked more like his old self on Wednesday.
Hazard, on the other hand, again struggled to repeat the form that saw him named the PFA player of the year last season, although Chelsea did not need any of his magic against their very weak visitors.
Man of the match: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The stats you need to know
- The Blues have only lost once in their last 36 home Champions League matches in the group stage.
- Jose Mourinho is one of five managers to have won the European Cup/Champions League with two different clubs, alongside Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.
- Diego Costa did not score a single goal in seven Champions League appearances last season with Chelsea after netting eight goals in nine games with Atletico Madrid in the previous campaign.
- No Israeli club have ever made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
- Eden Hazard has failed to score with three of his six Champions League penalties.
Chelsea will look for only their second Premier League win of the season when they entertain Arsenal. The Gunners lost 2-1 to Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday. In the Champions League, Chelsea next visit Porto in Group G, who drew 2-2 in Dynamo Kiev.
- 01 Begovic
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 05 Zouma
- 24 Cahill
- 06 Baba
- 04 Fàbregas
- 36 Loftus-Cheek Booked (Traore – 77′ )
- 22 Willian (Diego Costa – 23′ )
- 08 Oscar (Ramires – 65′ )
- 10 Hazard
- 18 Remy
- 02 Ivanovic
- 07 Ramires
- 14 Traore
- 19 Diego Costa
- 21 Matic
- 26 Terry
- 27 Blackman
Maccabi Tel Aviv
- 95 Rajkovic Booked
- 03 Shpungin (Peretz – 71′ )
- 26 Ben Haim Booked
- 18 Tibi
- 20 Ben Harush
- 06 Alberman
- 11 Ben Haim (Micha – 64′ )
- 24 Mitrovic
- 40 Igiebor Booked
- 22 Rikan (Radonjic – 64′ )
- 07 Zahavi
- 01 Lifshitz
- 10 Itzhaki
- 15 Micha
- 28 Vermouth
- 31 Garcia Badias
- 42 Peretz
- 99 Radonjic
Live Text Commentary
Full TimeMatch ends, Chelsea 4, Maccabi Tel Aviv 0.
Full TimeSecond Half ends, Chelsea 4, Maccabi Tel Aviv 0.
88:33Corner, Maccabi Tel Aviv. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
87:16Attempt missed. Nosa (Maccabi Tel Aviv) left footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Dor Peretz with a cross.
86:20Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
86:20Dejan Radonjic (Maccabi Tel Aviv) wins a free kick on the left wing.
85:57Dangerous play by Ramires (Chelsea).
85:57Nikola Mitrovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
84:54Offside, Maccabi Tel Aviv. Nikola Mitrovic tries a through ball, but Dejan Radonjic is caught offside.
83:31Attempt missed. Bertrand Traore (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ramires.
81:32Foul by Loïc Remy (Chelsea).
81:32Gal Alberman (Maccabi Tel Aviv) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal!Goal! Chelsea 4, Maccabi Tel Aviv 0. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner following a fast break.
77:35Attempt saved. Loïc Remy (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
77:25Attempt blocked. Eitan Tibi (Maccabi Tel Aviv) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
76:35Foul by Gary Cahill (Chelsea).
76:35Dejan Radonjic (Maccabi Tel Aviv) wins a free kick on the right wing.
SubstitutionSubstitution, Chelsea. Bertrand Traore replaces Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
75:53Foul by Diego Costa (Chelsea).
75:53Gal Alberman (Maccabi Tel Aviv) wins a free kick in the defensive half.