by Rob Shepherd.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho described his team’s performance in the 5-0 Champions League win at Schalke as “perfect” and one of the club’s finest ever away displays. It means The Blues to qualify for the last 16 with one Group G game remaining.
And it will have sent a message around the rest of Europe that Chelsea are serious contenders to win the trophy this season.
With Chelsea having established what many already regard as an “untouchable lead” at the top of the Premier League The Blues could well have the extra energy and focus required to go all the way in Europe.
In that respect Sky Bets odds of 6/1 for Chelsea to lift the Champions League this season looks a decent bet. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are 3/1 joint favourites, Barcelona are 11/2, then Chelsea at 6/1. PSG are 16/1.
Manchester City’s 3-2 win over Bayern means their odds have been cut to 20/1 but it’s still a task for them to qualify for the knockout stages.
The best price for Chelsea to win the Premier League is 1/6 on with Paddy Power.
William Hill offer 11/2 for Chelsea to land a Premier League and Champions League Double.
And the odds of lifting the FA Cup too and emulating Manchester United’s treble in 1999 are 25/1 – thanks to Graham Sharpe (@Sharpeangle) of William Hill for that.
The win in Schalke matches Chelsea previous best away win in the CL which came in 1999 when they beat Galatasaray 5-0 in Istanbul.
The Chelsea boss back then was Gianluca Vialli. The goals were scored by Tore Andre Flow (2) Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise, and Gabriele Ambrossetti.
But given the quality of the opposition the win in Schalke eclipses that win.
As Mourinho said: “I don’t remember Chelsea playing this way away from home”.
“Obviously, there have been great wins away from home with me, Roberto di Matteo (former Chelsea boss and the beleaguered manager of Schalke) and other managers. But this was very impressive. Very complete.”
The Premier League leaders, are now unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions.
Chelsea led 3-0 at half-time after goals from John Terry, Willian and Schalke defender Jan Kirchhoff, before Didier Drogba and Ramires completed the rout in the final 15 minutes.
Mourinho added: “At this moment we are a good team. Obviously we can lose and a bad result is waiting for us but the team is playing really well and we have big self-belief.”
Record win: 13-0 v Jeunesse Hautcharage (Luxembourg), European Cup Winners’ Cup, September, 1971
Record Champions League win: 6-0 v NK Maribor (Slovenia), October 2014
Record Champions League away win: 0-5 v Galatasaray (Turkey), October 1999; 0-5 v Schalke (Germany), November 2014