Champions League: Solid Chelsea ease to victory and top group
London: Chelsea made sure they will go into next week`s draw for the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners with a routine 1-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest on Wednesday.
Demba Ba marked a rare starting berth to bundle in Chelsea`s opener after 11 minutes at Stamford Bridge and Jose Mourinho`s side spent most of the rest of the match in third gear against the Romanian side who finished bottom of Group E.
Chelsea wasted several chances to increase their goal tally while Steaua`s one real chance was wasted early on by Gabriel Iancu.
Victory left Chelsea top of the group with 12 points, two more than Bundesliga side Schalke, and got them back on track after last weekend`s Premier League defeat by Stoke City.
Having conceded six goals in their last two matches it was a night for the solid rather than the spectacular for Chelsea against willing but shot-shy opponents.
There was precious little to raise the decibel level at Stamford Bridge and the night`s only goal was a messy affair.
Willian`s corner was flicked on by Oscar and Ba got to the ball fractionally before Daniel Georgievski to touch it home.
Shortly afterwards Iancu found himself clear through on goal but with only Mark Schwarzer to beat he dragged his shot wide.
With progress assured there was a lack of urgency in Chelsea`s play, although Branislav Ivanovic did force a superb save from Steaua keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu before the interval.
Ashley Cole, starting for the first time in a month as Mourinho rung the changes, tried his luck from range while Frank Lampard also dipped an effort over.
Ba scooped one effort over the bar from close-range in the second half and also had a goal ruled out for offside as the game petered out.