Chelsea win on Mourinho’s Sporting return
Nemanja Matic grabbed the winner as Jose Mourinho made a triumphant return to Sporting Lisbon courtesy of a narrow 1-0 victory that sees Chelsea take control of Champions League Group G.
The Blues boss first cut his coaching teeth with the Lions just over 20 years ago and enjoyed a successful homecoming, but it could have been so much more comfortable if his side had found the goal touch that has seen them light up the Premier League this season.
Indeed, Matic’s goal was all they had to show for some stylish approach play with the Serbia international rising at the far post to nod Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing free kick over Rui Patricio before revelling in the boos of the home support who recognised his one-time allegiance to local rivals Benfica.
In the end it turned into a hard-fought victory for the visitors who squandered a raft of openings with Diego Costa,Oscar and Andre Schurrle in particular fluffing their lines when presented with gilt-edged chances, although Patricio deserves great credit for a sensational display in the home goal.
Sporting improved in the second period with on-loan Manchester United winger, Nani going close to rescuing a point with a shot into the side-netting, but it wasn’t to be as Chelsea’s narrow win coupled with Schalke’s draw with Maribor saw the Blues move clear at the top of the standings.