Chelsea re­peat drub­bing of Mac­cabi to move in on last 16

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

HAIFA: Chelsea en­joyed their sec­ond 4-0 Cham­pi­ons League vic­tory over 10-man Mac­cabi Tel Aviv this sea­son to move into prime po­si­tion to reach the knock­out stages of the com­pe­ti­tion from Group G on Tues­day.

With Dy­namo Kiev win­ning 2-0 at Porto, how­ever, the qual­i­fiers for the last 16 will only be de­ter­mined in the last round of matches when Chelsea host Porto and Kiev wel­come Mac­cabi. Goals by Gary Cahill, Wil­lian, Os­car and Kurt Zouma se­cured the vic­tory for Chelsea whose task was made eas­ier when Mac­cabi cap­tain Tal Ben Haim, a key player in the heart of the de­fence, was sent off five min­utes be­fore half­time.

Af­ter five games, Chelsea, who only need to draw their fi­nal match to progress, and Porto each have 10 points with Kiev on eight, while Mac­cabi are bot­tom with­out a point.

Cahill had put the vis­i­tors on the score­sheet in the 20th minute with a closerange ef­fort af­ter mount­ing Chelsea pres­sure as Mac­cabi’s spir­ited start faded af­ter about 15 min­utes.

Mac­cabi kept up their at­tempts to pen­e­trate the Chelsea de­fence but their cause was un­der­mined when Ben Haim was shown a red card for a wild kick on striker Diego Costa. The Is­raelis main­tained their ef­forts af­ter the break but the re­sult was sealed when Wil­lian scored in the 73rd minute with a per­fectly-ex­e­cuted curl­ing free kick that beat the Mac­cabi wall and left goal­keeper Predrag Ra­jkovic stranded.

Os­car made it 3-0 in the 77th from close range as Mac­cabi’s de­fen­sive shield was breached again be­fore Zouma pounced on a cor­ner in the first minute of added time to seal the win.

Chelsea coach Jose Mour­inho said the re­sult flat­tered his side. “I think we played very well in the first half, the pitch didn’t help,” Mour­inho said. “In the sec­ond we slept a bit for the first 15-20 min­utes wait­ing for the sec­ond goal to come and only when we were again in dan­ger did we re­act well. No doubt about the vic­tory but I think Mac­cabi de­served a bit more than that.”

Mac­cabi coach Slav­isa Jokanovic said the send­ing off made it im­pos­si­ble for his play­ers to over­come tech­ni­cally su­pe­rior op­po­si­tion.

“Play­ing 11 against 11 is hard enough in the Cham­pi­ons League and when it’s 10 against 11 Chelsea play­ers it be­comes pretty much im­pos­si­ble,” he said.

Mo­ments be­fore the sec­ond goal, Chelsea cap­tain John Terry had to be sub­sti­tuted af­ter in­jur­ing his an­kle, an in­ci­dent which Mour­inho said oc­curred as a re­sult of the poor play­ing sur­face.

The ex­tent of the in­jury was not ini­tially known but Mour­inho looked wor­ried and sug­gested Terry may not be avail­able to play against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in the Premier League on Sun­day.

“This is such a beau­ti­ful sta­dium and a won­der­ful crowd but the sur­face was re­ally bad. They de­serve bet­ter than this,” he said.

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