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Chelsea thrash Schalke 5-0 to qualify for CL knockout

London, PTI | Updated : 26 November 2014, 01:21 PM

Chelsea thrashed German side FC Schalke 5-0 to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage with a group match to spare.

Chelsea, knowing a win would put them in the last 16, led through John Terry’s header after 86 seconds. A slick move ended with Willian driving in the second within half an hour, before Schalke defender Jan Kirchhoff headed into his own net as Chelsea led 3-0 at half-time.

Didier Drogba tapped in the fourth for the club before setting up Ramires to head in the fifth, a news channel reported. Chelsea substitutes Drogba and Ramires netted in the last 15 minutes to cap a flawless performance that merited the emphatic scoreline for the visitors in Gelsenkirchen.

Chelsea’s superiority in the Premier League, where they are unbeaten in 12 matches and lead by six points, has led some to ask whether they can go through the entire top-flight season without losing.

On this evidence, as Chelsea starved Schalke of possession and then regularly sliced them apart in attack, Jose Mourinho’s men could also be a difficult team to beat for Europe’s elite.

Mourinho is Chelsea’s most successful manager after winning six trophies in his first spell at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007, but was unable to land the one prize craved by their owner Roman Abramovich and that is the elite Champions League.

Instead, it was Di Matteo who lifted the biggest prize in European club football when he masterminded Chelsea’s victory in the 2012 tournament.

However, if Chelsea continues to produce this quality of performance when the knockout stage resumes in the New Year, then Mourinho would believe he could join the Italian in turning the west London side into European champions, the report added.

First Published: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 01:17 PM
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