Champions League: Chelsea beat stubborn Sporting Lisbon by one goal
Jose Mourinho enjoyed a happy return to his native city of Lisbon on Wednesday morning (Oct 1, Singapore time) as Chelsea defeated Sporting Lisbon 1-0 in Champions League Group G action at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Chelsea got the breakthrough their first half dominance deserved, and the only goal of the match from a set-piece on 34 minutes.
A far post cross from the left flank by Eden Hazard was met by a Serbia’s Nemanja Matic and his looping header drifted over the head of Sporting captain Rui Patricio and into the back of the net.
Egyptian international Mohamed Salah had a chance to put the result beyond doubt in injury time when Chelsea again breached the Sporting back four but the excellent Rui Patricio, in goal for Sporting Lisbon, was present to block the shot.
Mohamed Salah denied a goal by Rui Patricio. Photo: AFP
Chelsea captain John Terry who turned in a solid performance in the centre of defence and was making his 100th Champions League appearance said his side should have wrapped it up sooner.
“They’re a very good side and played well but we had so many chances to kill it off but luckily Matic got the goal and we got the win,” Terry told Sky TV.
“We lost our first group match last season and came back to qualify but we had to win tonight and we got it so we’re top of the group and in control again," he added
For Matic, it was his second career Champions League goal in a country he knows well having played for Sporting’s city rivals Benfica for three seasons before rejoining Chelsea in 2013.
Nemanja Matic scoring his goal for Chelsea. Photo: AFP
“We didn’t kill the game off but we played very well, very compact and we had complete dominance in defence. Now it is time to rest and then we will think about Arsenal,” said Mourinho in reference to Sunday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
“We played very well in the first half and played our game but we didn’t take our chances,” Goal scorer Matic .
The victory takes Chelsea top of the group on four points after Schalke 04 and MK Maribor drew 1-1 in Germany to leave them on two points apiece and Sporting bottom with one point.
The defeat for Sporting ended their 16-match unbeaten record at home in European competition.
Chelsea’s next match is at home against Maribor while Sporting travel to Schalke on Oct 21.
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