Chelsea gave a helping hand to a former hero on Wednesday by rounding off the Champions League group stage with a 3-1 victory over Sporting which sent the Portuguese side packing and opened the door for Schalke 04 to reach the last 16.
The English side finished comfortably clear at the top of Group G after a Cesc Fabregas penalty and a rasping strike from Andre Schuerrle set them on their way and John Obi Mikel rounded off the scoring after Jonathan Silva had given Sporting hope.
The result proved a boon to Chelsea's former Champions League-winning coach Roberto Di Matteo whose Schalke side clinched the runners-up spot after a 1-0 win over Maribor that left them on eight points, one clear of Sporting.
Chelsea, who dominated Wednesday's match, finished with 14 points, having won four of their six group games.
Chelsea's place in the last 16 was assured long before kickoff, as was their status as group winners, after they thrashed Schalke 5-0 in their last game.
But who was the man of the match? Click through the gallery below...
Chelsea player ratings vs Sporting
Chelsea player ratings vs Sporting
1/10 Petr Cech
With Chelsea already through as Group G winners, Thibaut Courtois was given the night off and Cech made just his fourth start of the season. He could do nothing about Sporting’s goal but did produce a good save from Islam Slimani’s powerful second-half header. 7/10
2/10 Cesar Azpilicueta
Switched to right back to accommodate Filipe Luis and had a comfortable evening. Booked late on. 7
3/10 Kurt Zouma
The 20-year-old defender impressed after coming on as a substitute against Tottenham and, playing alongside Gary Cahill at centre-half, did well again here. 7
4/10 Filipe Luis
Has found opportunities limited since moving to Stamford Bridge last summer and will struggle to break into the Chelsea side ahead of Azpilicueta. 6
5/10 Cesc Fabregas
Played further forward in the No10 role and put Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot after eight minutes. 7
6/10 Jon Obi Mikel
Put Chelsea 3-1 up with just fifth goal in eight years and his first since January. Did will alongside Matic in midfield. 7
7/10 Nemanja Matic
Chelsea missed Matic against Newcastle and the Serbia international, who has become a key player for Jose Mourinho, was a commanding presence in midfield. 7
8/10 Mohamed Salah
Had a rare opportunity to impress Jose Mourinho but did little and was substituted after 70 minutes. 5
9/10 Andre Schurrle
Scored his first goal since September to double Chelsea’s lead in the firs half, but then his weak header was punished by Jonathan Silva for Sporting’s goal. Replaced by Ramires after 73 minutes. 7
10/10 Diego Costa
Still looking for his first Champions League goal. Had a quiet evening. 6
But after their unbeaten start to the season was halted in a Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday, there was no question of Jose Mourinho taking it easy or picking an entirely second-string side.
With Nemanja Matic restored to midfield alongside Fabregas and Diego Costa leading the line, Chelsea enjoyed an immediate stranglehold on possession and were ahead after just eight minutes.
Fullback Filipe Luis was brought down by Sporting's Ricardo Esgaio and Fabregas stepped up to fire his penalty straight down the middle and into the net.
The one-way traffic continued and the hosts doubled the lead eight minutes later when Schuerrle found the bottom corner with a fierce drive from the edge of the area having been teed up by Matic.
The Portuguese team perked up in the second half and grabbed a goal back through Silva who fired home from the edge of the area, but hopes of a revival were dashed by Mikel's close-range finish.
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