Football

Chelsea thrash Maribor 6-0 in Champions League clash

Chelsea took a huge step towards Champions League qualification on Tuesday night, thrashing Maribor 6-0 at Stamford Bridge to take a commanding lead in Group G.

One more win should be enough to confirm the Blues’ progression to the next round and, given that poor Maribor have to play them again, this time in Slovenia, it’s hard to see how Jose Mourinho’s side could let this slip now. 

The Slovenians arrived in London on the back of two impressive results against Schalke and Sporting Lisbon.

But while they were able to hold those teams, they had no chance of doing the same to Chelsea. Mourinho’s men played as if they were in a hurry to clock off at the end of the evening. 

Chelsea took the lead in the 13th minute, Remy finishing superbly after a wonderful through ball from John Terry that split the Maribor defence down the middle.

But it was to be the last action for Remy, who suffered a groin njury in the process.

He was replaced by Didier Drogba and if Maribor thought the arrival of the ageing legend would blunt Chelsea, they were very much mistaken. 

When Ales Mertlj handled in the box, the Ivorian was there to fire home the resultant spot kick.

After half an hour, the game was effectively over. From a Maribor corner, Eden Hazard broke, slipped the ball to Cesc Fabregas and the Spaniard’s low cross found Terry, who had run the length of the pitch to be there to finish. 

Felipe Luis’ delicate footwork opened up the Maribor defence in the second half, an own goal from Mitjer Viler making it 4-0 after just 54 minutes.

Maribor spurned a chance to grab a consolation goal when Agim Ibraimi bounced a penalty off the post.

With the result secure, Mourinho withdrew Fabregas and Oscar to keep them fit for the crucial clash with Manchester United this weekend.

Unfortunately for Maribor, he left Hazard on and the Belgian made it 5-0 with a penalty in the 76th minute and then 6-0 in the final minute with a fine individual effort. 

Leading the Premier League and untroubled in Europe, Chelsea could very easily intensify United’s woes this weekend. 

CHELSEA (EPL)