Cesc Fabregas joins elite group with historic goal for Chelsea against Qarabag

Sunday, 26 Nov, 2017

Antonio Conte's men may have comprehensively beaten Quarabag 4-0 - who are the first Azeri side to qualify for Europe's the Champions League - but they will face a far sterner test at Anfield during the Saturday tea-time kick-off.

Forward Willian had scored just one goal prior to this game this season - against Everton in the League Cup - but played a pivotal role in this win for the Blues, also winning two penalties.

"For sure, to have only one day to rest and prepare this big game is not simple, not easy".

Mauricio Pochettino has aimed a dig at Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, and claimed that he thinks the Blues are now struggling to balance the expectations in the Champions League and also the Premier League. I think it's definitely a penalty.

The Italian added that his team showed "great character" to respond to their 3-0 loss to Roma two weeks ago to seal their spot in the Champions League knockout stage. However, they must beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their final game and hope Roma drop points at home to Qarabag to avoid parachuting into the Europa League.

He said: "We knew we had to win. Beating Qarabag has taken some of the edge off".

However, the miss did not prove to be costly as the Azerbaijan champions had been lazy at the back with their passing, giving the ball away to Willian, who once again, was fouled in the penalty area.

Once the protests about the dismissal had ended, Hazard stepped up to take the penalty cooly and slotted it into the opposite side of the diving goalkeeper.

Qarabag were furious but Hazard ignored their complaints to stroke home the spot-kick for his sixth goal in his last seven appearances. N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were given starting births with Conte clearly recognising the match as an opportunity to secure qualification if other results on the night went their way; which they did.

Hazard has scored six goals and assisted five more in his 15 starts for Chelsea, thriving in a more central role under Conte.

"Because they've put us on the 30th and the 1st, but they could easily play all of the [second round of] games on the 3rd and the 4th".