Haifa (Israel): Chelsea cruised to an easy 4-0 Champions League victory over 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv in Haifa on Tuesday to close in on the Last 16. The victory, coupled with Dynamo Kiev’s 2-0 win at Porto, means Chelsea only need a draw at home to the Portuguese in two weeks to guarantee their passage to the knockout stage.
Chelsea’s Oscar celebrates after scoring against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
Gary Cahill gave the English Premier League champions a first-half lead before former Blues centre-half Tal Ben Haim was sent off just before the break. Chelsea turned the screw in the last 17 minutes as Brazilians Willian and Oscar, and French centre-back Kurt Zouma all found the net.
"Very important, especially with what happened in Porto we really needed to win this match, and also important to get two victories in a few days," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told BT Sport.
The London club have been struggling for form all season but this victory follows a 1-0 home win over Norwich City in the Premier League at the weekend and Mourinho added: "I hope morale comes, tranquility comes, confidence comes."
The result meant the Israelis can no longer even finish third and qualify for the Europa League. Chelsea are level on 10 points with Porto while Dynamo Kiev are two points further back. All three could finish level on points.