A comfortable 4-0 win over 10-man Qarabag on Wednesday was enough to see Chelsea book their place in the Champions League’s round of 16.
Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and a double from Willian sealed the three points for Antonio Conte’s side in Baku and ensure they will progress to the knockout phase of the competition.
Qarabag who were thrashed 6-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge back in September were lively in the opening stage of the game, but were dealt a blow when captain Rasad Sadiqov was sent off for bringing down Willian in the penalty area.
Hazard who started as a false nine as Conte left Alvaro Morata on the bench, tucked home the spot-kick for his third goal in the group stage and produced a clever assist for Willian to make it 2-0 15 minutes later.
The remainder of the match was played at a procession pace, as Chelsea looked to conserve energy for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool, but Fabregas added a third with 17 minutes left to play courtesy of another precise effort from 12 yards before Willian lashed home a fine fourth.
The result sends the English champions through and puts them two points clear at the top of Group C ahead of Atletico Madrid’s clash with Roma, while Qarabag must hope for a favour from the Italians to preserve their hopes of snatching a Europa League spot on matchday six.