Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon does not tell the whole story as the blues dominated with several chances. However, it does confirm three points for Chelsea and it helps them top their group. After a 1-1 draw with Schalke in the opening group match, Jose Mourinho gave indications that he was after the three points by saying that he was not going to let the upcoming match against Arsenal distract his team.
Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle, and Oscar all had brilliant opportunities to score. It would not have been surprising had the match finished as 4-0 or 5-0 in favour of the away team. Thibaut Courtois was largely untested on the night, but Chelsea’s crucial goal came from an unlikely source – Nemanja Matic. As Chelsea were busy taking three points in Lisbon, they witnessed their group opponents Schalke and Maribor play out a 1-1 draw. Mourinho says with confidence that Chelsea can progress to the knockout stages with two wins. According to the Guardian, he said:
“We now play two games against Maribor and, if we manage to secure six points, that would be 10 and job done. Now we have just to focus on beating Maribor, which I believe is not easy. To draw in Germany means something.
“I know but it’s three points. Three points. This is not a knockout game where goals are fundamental. Games like this can end up 4-0 or 5-0 but it ended up 1-0 and as a well-managed win.”
The prospect of getting six points from the remaining four matches looks extremely bright. Chelsea are up against Maribor in the next two matches with the first being at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have one of the strongest squads in Europe after the addition of players like Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. Yet, one of the key players on Wednesday night was captain John Terry, who was making his 100th appearance in this competition. Terry will be turning 33 in a few months and there has been talk of the former England captain being in decline. He quashed those rumours by performing admirably to keep Chelsea’s second consecutive clean sheet after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Chelsea are regarded as one of the favourites for the title along with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.