CHELSEA 6 NK MARIBOR 0
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho shrugged off talk of a striker crisis for Sunday's trip to Manchester United after an injury to Loic Remy proved the only stain on a memorable Champions League triumph over Maribor last night.
Midfielder Eden Hazard’s brace, veteran Dider Drogba’s first goal since rejoining the Blues, an own goal and further strikes from Remy and captain John Terry saw Mourinho’s men equal the biggest win of his second spell in charge.
It might have fallen short of Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk’s seven-goal wins at Roma and BATE Borisov elsewhere, but it was a warning to United before the weekend and, in the shape of an evergreen Drogba, enough to ease selection concerns.
“I'm not worried,” said Mourinho, who indicated hamstrung top scorer Diego Costa would not be fit to start at Old Trafford. “I was not expecting [Drogba] to play 75 minutes, but circumstances meant he had to come on. It was the best thing for a player to improve his condition. “We are playing well, getting good results. We don't cry over injuries -- it’s our philosophy. We just think an injury means an opportunity for somebody else.”
Chelsea bared their teeth to deadly effect on 13 minutes when summer signing Remy darted onto an early ball, cut back onto his left foot and rifled low past Jasmin Handanovic.
Remy hobbled off moments later for Drogba, who promptly netted a penalty -- the 36-year-old forward’s first goal since the 2012 Champions League final triumph.
Chelsea's third was a scintillating break led by Hazard and finished by the unlikely figure of Terry who turned in a low Cesc Fabregas cross at the back post.
Branislav Ivanovic and Hazard missed chances for a fourth before Mitja Viler turned into his own net, but the Belgian got his reward with a penalty 13 minutes from time.
Teen star Dominic Solanke came on for his first-team bow and fellow youngster Nathan Ake set up the late sixth, his ball over the top finding Hazard, who lashed past Handanovic.