Drogba scores as Chelsea wallop Maribor 6-0


Didier Drogba scored his first goal since rejoining Chelsea as they recorded their biggest Champions League win with a dominant victory against Maribor at Stamford Bridge.

Loic Remy swept in the opener but was quickly replaced by Drogba after injuring himself when scoring.

Drogba then converted a penalty before John Terry slid in a third.

A Mitja Viler own goal put Chelsea in command before Eden Hazard scored a penalty and drove in a late sixth.

Agim Ibraimi hit the post with a penalty for Maribor, but in truth the Slovenians were well beaten.

Chelsea have seven points from three games to sit top of Group G, and will be confident of reaching the knockout stage.

It was almost the perfect win for boss Jose Mourinho, although the injury to Remy was a cause for concern.

With Diego Costa out with a hamstring injury, the Blues could face Sunday’s Premier League trip to Manchester United with Drogba as the club’s only fit first-team striker.

For now, Mourinho will surely be satisfied with another impressive performance from his side which extends their run of wins to 10 from 12 games in all competitions.

They are still to be beaten, having drawn their other two games. One of those was in the Champions League, when Schalke took a point at Stamford Bridge, but there was never any danger of Maribor doing likewise.

After Damjan Bohar planted a header on the roof of the net for the Slovenians, it was all Chelsea – and it did not take them long to go in front.

Terry’s smart pass from halfway cut open the Maribor defence and Remy timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap, cut inside Maribor’s Marko Suler and sweep a low shot into the far corner from the edge of the area.

Remy had little time to celebrate, as he immediately pulled up in discomfort and had to be replaced by Drogba moments later.

If Maribor harboured hope the change would disrupt Chelsea’s momentum, that was dispelled when Drogba scored his first goal for the club since the match-winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.

Midfielder Ales Mertelj handled Willian’s pass inside the Maribor area and Drogba stepped up to thump in the resulting spot-kick.

Maribor had started the game with attacking intent but became increasingly withdrawn, as Chelsea looked capable of scoring every time they went forward.

That, though, only invited further Chelsea pressure, and the home side scored a deserved third when Terry burst into the box to slide in a Cesc Fabregas low cross.

Petr Cech, starting in the Chelsea goal for only the second time this season, had little to do throughout the game, but he was alert to keep out a deflected Tavares strike early in the second half.

Any hope Maribor had of fighting back was ended soon after when Viler diverted Hazard’s near-post shot into his own net, before Ibraimi swept a penalty against the post to sum up a miserable evening for the visitors.

With Maribor looking deflated and the win safe, Mourinho handed 17-year-old England youth international striker Dominic Solanke his senior debut for final minutes of the game.

There was still time, though, for Hazard to take centre stage as he rolled in a penalty after Branislav Ivanovic was fouled, before capping a fine overall display by expertly bringing Nathan Ake’s high ball under control and curling home.

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