Nigeria’s international, John Obi Mikel scored on Wednesday night as Chelsea beat Sporting Lisbon 3-1 to finish top of their Champions League group.
Mikel arrived at the far post to latch onto Gary Cahill’s flick from a Febragas cross 56 minutes into the match to register Chelsea’s third and final goal of the night.
Jonathan Silva had halved the deficit at 2-1 after the break for Sporting, but Marco Silva’s side needed a draw to progress with Schalke getting a result against Maribor in Slovenia.
In a much-changed Chelsea side after their 2-1 defeat by Newcastle on Saturday, 18-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek was handed his debut by Jose Mourinho with seven minutes remaining.
Mourinho chose to go with Diego Costa up front despite winning the group on Matchday 5, with Loftus-Cheek selected on the bench and Petr Cech, Filipe Luis and Mohamed Salah all given starts.
But the new-look XI started well, and were awarded a clear penalty on eight minutes.
Filipe Luis was tripped by Ricardo Esgaio on the corner of the area after the Chelsea defender had nutmegged the Sporting man, and Fabregas stepped up to send Rui Patricio the wrong way for his third Chelsea goal.
And they were two up and firmly in control just eight minutes later, with the commanding Nemanja Matic finding Schurrle, who turned well from 20 yards and fired home low into the left corner of the net.
Chelsea dictated the first half, with Mohamed Salah finding Matic at the edge of the box, only for the midfielder to volley inches wide with Patricio rooted.
Sporting, who needed a draw to progress to the knockout stage at the expense of Schalke, waited 37 minutes before threatening the Chelsea goal.
Diego Capel’s diving header hit the back of Azpilicueta, before the Sporting man got up first to the rebound only for Cech to save well at his feet.
The visitors halved the deficit after the break, with Silva smashing home low to Cech’s right from 15 yards after bringing the ball down on his chest.
Salah went up the other end as Chelsea looked to regain the two-goal lead, but Portuguese No 1 Patricio got his fingertips to the Egyptian’s low drive from the edge of the area.
Cech, coming in for first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, did well to stop Islam Slimani’s powerful header, clutching the ball on the line as Sporting players appealed for a goal.
And late on there was a glimpse of Chelsea’s future as midfielder Loftus-Cheek was given his debut for the club by Mourinho on 83 minutes.
Chelsea finished top of their group ahead of Schalke for the second year running, with four wins and two draws seeing them through.