Chelsea began their campaign in UEFA Champions League with a blast as they had just outclassed Qarabag FK with a comprehensive 6-0 margin. After one year gap Stamford Bridge again witnessed a Champions League match and Chelsea had improved their strong home record in the group stage of Champions League History with this win as in recent years they had only lost against Basel here in group stage.
Antonio Conte decided to rest some of his key players in this match to be in fully fit condition for the North London Derby against Arsenal in the Premier League. Davide Zappacosta was given a chance to start in the place of Victor Moses.
Cahill had come back in the starting line up after serving 3 match ban in the Premier League due to his red card against Burnley in the opening match.
Willian started with Batshuayi who had replaced Bakayoko and Morata respectively from the starting line up against Leicester City this weekend. Christensen also featured in the starting line up of Blues in place of David Luiz.
Chelsea had started the match in style when Pedro put them in front in the 4th minute of the match. Willian picked up the pass from the corner that Fabregas took and gave the ball to Pedro, who struck it with perfect placement towards the goal.
They had doubled their lead when Zappacosta started a run from the right flank with a pass from Thibaut Courtois, in the 29th minute of the match.
The goalkeeper of Qarabag was slightly ahead of his position and Zappacosta had found the net with a decent strike from a very difficult angle. It was the first Champions League experience for him and he had made the debut special with that goal. After first half Chelsea were two goals ahead with a healthy possession in the match.
In the second half, Chelsea was dominating the game and at the 54th minute Fabregas provided a beautiful cross to Azpilicueta who headed it towards the goal. After increasing the margin, Conte decided to rest Pedro for the Arsenal match and had given Hazard a chance to destroy the defense of Qarabag at the 57th minute.
He had also changed Kante to Bakayoko at 62nd minute to keep both of the players fit for the big game on Sunday. Qarabag also made a double switch by bringing in Madatov and Diniyev in place of Sadiquov and Qarayev respectively.
It did not work for Qarabag as Bakayoko increased the lead at 70th minute and got his first ever Chelsea goal.
Now, Azpilicueta was also rested at 74th minute by replacing him with Antonio Rudiger. After that, the Belgian forward Batshuayi’s decent strike from the pass of Bakayoko at the 75th minute had increased the margin to 5-0.Qarabag’s player Pedro Henrique was injured and replaced by Eloyunoussi at the 76th minute.
Zappacosta got a loose ball at the right side at 81st minute and he had pushed the ball towards Batshuayi and the ball had reached the goal with the touch of the Qarabag defender Medvedev and was declared as an own goal. The defense of Qarabag FK had completely surrendered in front of Chelsea’s dominant attacking threat and Chelsea had emerged victorious in this contest with a huge margin of 6-0.
This big win against the side from Azerbaijan had brought Chelsea to the top position of Group C . The 0-0 draw between two other sides of the group on the same day would surely provide them a good boost towards qualifying in the next round. Chelsea will face Arsenal in North London Derby this Sunday with a huge confidence after this match.