Liverpool beat Salzburg in wild 7-goal thriller

Chelsea too good for Sporting Lisbon

11/12/2014

Serious Champions League business begins for Chelsea in February after Jose Mourinho's men completed their unbeaten Group G campaign with a 3-1 win over Sporting Lisbon.

The Blues had already qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Sporting hoping to join them ahead of Schalke, managed by Chelsea's European Cup-winning manager Roberto di Matteo.

A Cesc Fabregas penalty and goals from Andre Schurrle and John Obi Mikel - his fifth goal in more than 300 Blues appearances - meant Sporting had to rely on Maribor avoiding defeat against Schalke.

But the Germans won 1-0 in Slovenia to advance to the knockout stages.

Chelsea had made six changes to the side which lost at Newcastle - the Blues' first defeat in 24 matches this season - but strolled to a 2-0 lead within 16 minutes.

Jonathan Silva pulled a goal back five minutes into the second half, but Mikel restored the two-goal advantage within six minutes.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, an 18-year-old midfielder who has been at Chelsea since the age of eight, came off the substitutes' bench for his debut with seven minutes remaining on what was a comfortable night for the home side.

Chelsea always appeared likely to win Group G, the only surprise was that their passage was not more comfortable.

The Blues opened with a draw with Schalke, who they beat 5-0 in Germany, beat Maribor 6-0, but drew the return and edged to a 1-0 win in Lisbon before Wednesday night's triumph.

Chelsea will face sterner tests when their quest for a second European Cup - and Mourinho's third with three different clubs - resumes, but first Hull await when the Premier League leaders return to domestic duty on Saturday.

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