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Played
December 5, 2012 2:45 PM EST
Stamford Bridge — London
Referee:‬ B. Nijhuis‎
Attendance:‬ 40084‎
 
38′ (PG) David Luiz
Joshua John 46′
45+2′ Fernando Torres
 
51′ Gary Cahill
 
 
63′ Juan Mata
 
71′ Oscar
 
Top of the Match
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Chelsea
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Chelsea
Flop of the Match
Nikolai Stokholm
Nikolai Stokholm
FC Nordsjælland
Nikolai Stokholm
Nikolai Stokholm
FC Nordsjælland

Chelsea 6-1 Nordsjaelland: Torres double in vain as Champions League holders crash out

A brace from the Spaniard and goals from Luiz, Cahill, Mata and Oscar helped to sweep aside the Danish opponents but Rafa Benitez's team will be in the draw for the Europa League

By Wayne Veysey

LONDON -- Even when he is victorious, Rafael Benitez can’t win.

The new Chelsea manager secured his first win in four attempts but he was left to reflect on an evening that ultimately ended in eviction from the Champions League.

Benitez’s team was relatively impressive in annihilating Group E minnow Nordsjaelland 6-1 but a points haul of 10 was not enough to prevent the European champions from becoming the first holders to fail to qualify for the last 16.

With Juventus simultaneously defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 to join the Ukraine club in February’s knockout stages, Benitez will lead his team into the far less glamorous environs of the Europa League.

That is, if the Spaniard is still screaming out instructions from the home dugout at the Bridge by then.

Nothing can be taken for granted where Roman Abramovich is concerned, even if Benitez might have bought himself a smidgen of room to manoeuvre with this comfortable win, albeit against weak Danish opponents.

The manager could at least take solace in a less poisonous welcome from the home fans and a brace of goals from his under-performing No. 9 Fernando Torres, which were supplemented by a David Luiz penalty, a Gary Cahill header and Juan Mata and Oscar strikes.

Joshua John scored what turned out to be a consolation for the visitors but there could have been even more goals had Nicolai Stokholm and Eden Hazard not traded penalty misses in a crazy few minutes before Luiz showed them how it was done.

Benitez might not be able to pit his wits against Europe’s finest coaching minds in the new year but he can at least take solace in a more efficient display from his team.

Unsurprisingly, given the inexperience of the opposition, Chelsea controlled the opening exchanges but its finishing initially lacked punch, as if the team unconvinced whether it would make any difference to the evening’s equation.

An uninspiring game became an eventful one around the half-hour mark, with three penalties awarded in a madcap six minutes, each for handballs of varying degrees of culpability.

Petr Cech dived low to his right to save Nicolai Stokholm’s spot kick after 32 minutes but Jesper Hansen then matched the Chelsea No. 1 by flinging himself to his left to keep out Hazard’s rather feeble penalty.

The third spot kick was perhaps the most contentious of the lot, awarded when a close-range shot hit defender Patrick Mtiliga’s arm that was resting by his side. Luiz paced out a fast bowler’s run-up and emphatically rammed the ball home.

Torres doubled Chelsea’s advantage on the brink of halftime, in a manner that will provide encouragement to Benitez and his coaching staff.

After out-pacing defender Michael Parkhurst in the quest to latch on to Victor Moses’ smart through-ball, the Spaniard’s first attempt was beaten away by Hansen but the striker kept his composure to steer the rebound over the goalkeeper and inside the far post.

It prompted a thousand Twitter jokes about Torres ending his drought but it was in fact the Spaniard’s eighth Chelsea goal of the season.

Nineteen seconds after the break, Nordsjaelland got a foothold in the match when the brilliantly named Joshua John steered in from a tight angle.

Cahill got on the scoresheet after 51 minutes with his sixth goal of the season and, from then on, it was about how many Chelsea would win by as its part-time opposition tired.

Torres got his ninth of the campaign soon afterwards, while Mata and Oscar also scored late on as the final group game developed into a training match.

Ultimately, it was of little consequence. Long before the end, Chelsea’s support had accepted their fate.

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Chelsea

1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
32′
3.00
2
3.00
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
60′
3.00
4
David Luiz
Defender
38′ 90′
3.00
24
Gary Cahill
Defender
51′
3.00
6
Oriol Romeu
Midfielder
3.00
7
Ramires
Midfielder
65′
3.00
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
3.50
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
35′ 56′
3.50
9
4.00
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
51′ 63′ 71′ 74′
4.00

FC Nordsjælland

2.50
-
Jesper Hansen
Goalkeeper
35′
2.00
8
2.00
4
2.50
19
 - 
21
Ivan Runje
Defender
10′
2.50
5
2.50
-
Enock Kofi Adu
Midfielder
1.50
7
3.00
-
K. Lorentzen
Midfielder
46′
2.00
23
3.00
25

Substitutes

21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
2.50
28
 - 
23
2.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
65′ 71′
3.00
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
 - 
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
-
David Jensen
Goalkeeper
2.50
-
 - 
-
M. Maxsø
Defender
2.00
-
 - 
22
2.50
24
K. Issah
Midfielder
65′
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

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 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
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Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2