Chelsea top group with win over Porto in Champions League
Matt Haynes | December 9, 2015
Chelsea 2-0 Porto
- Willian secures Chelsea win
- Blues top Champions League Group G
- Porto into Europa League
Bright Blues start
In Latin, the name ‘Julen’ means youthful. Porto coach Julen Lopetegui looked anything but as the game wore on at Stamford Bridge as his side were dumped out of the Champions League in the final group match.
It was the champions of England who began as they meant to go on as a determined Chelsea embarked on this match with a focused professionalism.
Knowing that three points would guarantee they won the group, the Blues on occasion were almost clones of their best last season, with Eden Hazard, Willian and Diego Costa all linking well and causing Porto’s rearguard multiple problems.
Porto count the Costa
While he still has some way to go until being back to his very best, there was a menacing urgency to Costa’s manner, as he harried defenders, and made encouraging runs, demonstrated by the opening goal.
Running across his marker he received square on goal at an angle, with Dragons goalkeeper Iker Casillas closing in and while the striker’s finish was anything but polished, the ricochet off the former Real Madrid man cannoned off Ivan Marcano into the net.
Chelsea, who are 13/10 with Coral to beat Leicester next time out, then piled on the pressure and when Costa linked up with Oscar following an interchange reminiscent of last season, the latter’s reverse strike rooted Casillas to the spot only to trickle narrowly wide.
With Willian pulling the strings and pockets of space appearing time and again Chelsea looked likely to add a second before the interval, though Costa could only fire wide in his best chance since the goal.
Where there’s a Will there’s a way
Although Porto upped the ante in the second half, it left them susceptible to counter-attacks as Chelsea attempted to make the most of Hazard and Willian’s pace.
While Yacine Brahimi was attempting to orchestrate efforts for the visitors, curling a shot just wide of Thibaut Courtois’ goal, the Blues relished the chance to strike on the break.
As Costa fed the ball into Willian at the end of one move, the attacker was unlucky to strike straight at Casillas as he attempted to find the far corner. Moments later he found himself in an identical position and instead drilled it low into the bottom corner of the net at the near post to double the home side’s advantage.
While Porto rolled the dice, it left them even more exposed at the back and Hazard could have made it three late on and was unlucky to hit the post, moments after Costa’s heavy touch denied him an opportunity to do the same.
A much-needed win for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho, who progress into the last 16 as group winners, while the Dragons lacked fire.
Check out our Champions League archive.