Chelsea booked their passage to the Champions League last-16 with a 4-0 victory over 10-man Qarabag at the Azersun Arena on Wednesday.
Qarabag 0 Chelsea 4
Sadiqov sent off, Hazard converts penalty
Willian doubles Blues’ lead
Fabregas also scores from the spot
Willian seals win late on
Antonio Conte’s side never looked back after Rashad Sadiqov received a straight red card for hauling down Willian inside the box on 20 minutes, with Hazard’s penalty paving the way for a commanding win.
Willian bagged a brace himself and Cesc Fabregas also got on the scoresheet to take the Blues through to the knockout stages.
The visitors were presented with an early chance in front of a hostile crowd when the ball broke for Cesc Fabregas from Willian’s blocked pass in the fourth minute, but he shot straight at Ibrahim Sehic from the top of the D.
After David Luiz sent a looping header well over the target from a 12th-minute corner, the hosts went close moments later as Michel latched onto Mahir Medetov’s pass and struck the crossbar from inside the area on the right and Richard Almeyda fired over with an acrobatic volley on the rebound.
But Qarabag suffered a huge blow on 20 minutes when their captain was red-carded for a foul on Willian inside the box, with Hazard sending Sehic the wrong way to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
The Blues went on to control proceedings and Hazard steered a header straight at Sehic from Cesar Azpilicueta’s measured cross on the half-hour mark, before Luiz headed a corner well wide of the left post unchallenged four minutes later.
A slick passing move tore the Azerbaijan champions to shreds on 36 minutes as Willian slotted home from 14 yards out after being set up by Hazard’s neat backheel.
The Brazil international failed to hit the target on 42 minutes with a free-kick that he curled wide of the left post from 22 yards out, but Sehic was called into action again in the 64th minute as he got a firm hand to Hazard’s shot from inside the area on the left.
Substitute Alvaro Morata wasted a great chance when he missed the goal from eight yards out after being played in by Antonio Rudiger on 68 minutes, but a second penalty for the English champions three minutes later put them three-up.
The referee pointed to the spot for a tug on Willian’s jersey and after Fabregas scored, he had to retake the spot-kick for encroachment, although the ball found the back of the net on the second time of asking too.
Morata was denied by another good save from Morata on 76 minutes, while a rare opportunity for the home team soon afterwards saw Wildedonald Guerrier cut inside from the right and curl a long-range shot into the gloves of Thibaut Courtois.
Willian capped off a fine individual performance with a rasping strike from 20 yards out that flew into the bottom-right corner of the net on 85 minutes to seal the Blues’ progress in the competition.