Chelsea recorded their highest-ever Champions League win with an emphatic 6-0 demolition of Maribor.
The Blues, who had never won by a clear six-goal margin before, began proceedings with Loic Remy, but later first-half goals by Didier Drogba — his first since his Chelsea return, and John Terry, left Maribor in no state to contend. The hosts capitalised and wrapped the match up handsomely with an own goal, and two from Eden Hazard.
It was a result which should have been a mere formality on paper but always a potential banana-skin when the odds are that heavily weighted on you winning. The mental game plays very little part in Mourinho’s teams however — he creates it for others — so you would not have expected any buckling.
And they certainly did not. Loic Remy fired home the first and injured himself during it, but his replacement Didier Drogba needs no introduction. A lenient handball decision in favour of Chelsea brought Drogba back to the penalty spot. His last goal for the Blues was, of course, that night in Munich, and his first goal on his return would be to tuck home another penalty.
There was no stopping Chelsea, and who better to embody that than John Terry, for there was literally no stopping him for the third. The captain was helping his side defend a corner before sprinting the length of the field to get on the end of a swift counter-attack. Fabregas provided the assist and Terry slid in.
An own goal brought about by good Hazard work would be the fourth but there was no denying Hazard himself getting a piece of the action. Two pieces, in fact. The next penalty decision was more correctly in Chelsea’s favour and Hazard sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Nathan Ake has a superb cameo as he provided a breath-taking through pass to Eden Hazard in the 90th minute, as the Belgian wrapped up his second.
Man of the Match
EDEN HAZARD: Too many stand-out names tonight: Zouma was accomplished, Ake did marvellously in his half-hour outing, but Hazard continues to shine magnificently. He gets criticised for not scoring enough but two tonight will silence the critics. Now we await the critics who say Hazard fails to deliver in big matches, and we shall see the Belgian’s response on Sunday. 9/10
Mourinho was delighted: “It was good. I think we were very, very strong when we had to be very strong, which was at the beginning of the game, and after that we had the happiness to play. The players kept enjoying the game, playing with ambition and trying to score goals, so three important points.”