A Case of Too Little, Too Late: Chelsea wins 6-1 against Nordsjaelland – and are eliminated anyway
Chelsea had no choice in their match against Nordsjaelland: they needed to defeat the Danish club or would have absolutely no chance of qualifying for the Knockout Phase. They also needed Juventus to lose in their match against Shaktar Donetsk; a Juventus win or draw would result in Chelsea being eliminated from the Champions League. Unfortunately for Chelsea, their 6-1 win was eclipsed by Juventus’s 1-0 win against Shaktar Donetsk; the Champions have been eliminated from the Champions League at the Group Stage of the tournament.
Regardless, Chelsea played a brilliant match: in the first half, there were three handballs, three penalty kicks, and two goals – both of which belonged to Chelsea.
The first handball was committed by Chelsea and the subsequent penalty kick, taken by Nordsjaelland’s Nicolai Stokholm, was saved by Petr Čech. The second handball was committed by Nordsjaelland and the subsequent penalty kick, taken by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, was saved by Jesper Hansen. Finally, the third handball, committed by Nordsjaelland, resulted in a penalty goal by David Luiz (38’). Lastly, Chelsea’s Fernando Torres ended the half by scoring in the 45+2 minute.
In less than a minute of second half play, Nordsjaelland’s Joshua John scored (46’) and brought his team back into the match. However, Chelsea refused to give them a chance: the English club, the Champions of the Champions League, scored the next four goals and Nordsjaelland never responded with one of their own. In the 51st minute, Gary Cahill scored with a header; in the 56th minute, Torres scored his second with the brilliant assistance of Hazard; in the 63rd minute, Juan Mata scored; and in the 71st minute, rounding up the goals, Oscar scored.
It was a rather a strange match, but ultimately, Chelsea’s inability to bother playing as well against Juventus, and frankly, most of the earlier matches, as they did today against Nordsjaelland resulted in their eventual elimination. The good news is that Chelsea’s manager, Rafael Benítez, has won his first match.