Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League's round of 16 with a comfortable 4-0 win over 10-man Qarabag on Wednesday.
Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and a double from Willian sealed the three points for Antonio Conte's side in Baku and ensure they will progress to the knockout phase of the competition.
Qarabag, thrashed 6-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge in September, started well in front of their noisy home support but were left facing a huge challenge when captain Rasad Sadiqov was sent off for bringing down Willian in the penalty area.
Hazard, starting as a false nine as Conte left Alvaro Morata on the bench, tucked home the spot-kick for his third goal in the group stage and produced a clever assist for Willian to make it 2-0 15 minutes later.
The remainder of the match was played at a procession pace, as Chelsea looked to conserve energy for Saturday's Premier League clash with Liverpool, but Fabregas added a third with 17 minutes left to play courtesy of another precise effort from 12 yards before Willian lashed home a fine fourth.
The result sends the English champions through and puts them two points clear at the top of Group C ahead of Atletico Madrid's clash with Roma, while Qarabag must hope for a favour from the Italians to preserve their hopes of snatching a Europa League spot on matchday six.
1 - Eden Hazard has both scored and assisted in a single Champions League game for the first time in his career. Schemer. pic.twitter.com/6qVnSRP0NR— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 22, 2017
A lively start from Qarabag seemed to have Chelsea unsettled and they were fortunate not to be 1-0 down inside 13 minutes, with Michel rattling the crossbar from inside the penalty area after a one-two between Maksim Medvedev and Dino Ndlovu.
The home fans were in fine spirits but their mood changed completely with 19 minutes played, when Sadiqov was adjudged to have deliberately pulled Willian down by his arm as he attempted to get free in the penalty area.
The captain was duly given a straight red card and Hazard made no mistake from the penalty spot, rolling the ball into the bottom corner as goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic went the wrong way.
It might have been a controversial way to break the deadlock but there was nothing questionable about Chelsea's second. Pedro, Willian and Hazard combined following a Cesc Fabregas ball forward, the move ending with Hazard backheeling into Willian's path, and the Brazilian made no mistake with a low finish from just inside the area.
Conte resisted the temptation to make changes at half-time but Chelsea looked keen to kill off the contest as soon as possible, with Sehic making a good save to deny Pedro one-on-one after a fine lofted pass from Fabregas.
Hazard was then denied by a fine one-handed save before he departed to a rousing reception from the travelling Chelsea fans, as Conte opted to give Morata a 25-minute run-out.
The Spain striker missed a great chance to get on the scoresheet, dragging a shot inches wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the six-yard box, and he was denied by the offside flag barely a minute later after tapping in Cesar Azpilicueta 's lay-off.
Fabregas did manage to get Chelsea a third goal, though, to cap an efficient outing from Conte's side.
Referee Jorge Sousa adjudged Medvedev to have pulled Willian's shirt into the penalty area, despite the full-back's protests that contact stopped before they crossed the 18-yard line, allowing the former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder to sweep the ball into the bottom corner after his first effort was ruled out for encroachment.
Willian completed a superb individual display with his second goal five minutes from the end of normal time, collecting Pedro's pass before lashing beyond Sehic from 20 yards to send Chelsea through with a little bit of swagger.
Key Opta facts:
- Chelsea have booked their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 14th time in their last 15 appearances in the competition.
- Qarabag have now failed to win their last six consecutive European games (including qualifiers), their longest winless streak since July 2009 (8).
- The Blues have kept four clean sheets in their last five games in all competitions, as many as in their previous 18.
- On his 200th appearance for Chelsea in all competitions, Willian scored a brace in the Champions League for the first time since November 2012 for Shakhtar Donetsk v FC Nordsjælland.
- Qarabag are only the third team to pick up a red card in three consecutive Champions League games (also Bordeaux in 2000 and Juventus in 2001).
- Eden Hazard has scored three goals in his last three Champions League appearances, as many as in his previous 19 combined.
- Hazard both scored and assisted in a Champions League game for the first time in his career.
- Cesc Fabregas became the fourth Spanish player to hit the 20-goal mark in the Champions League (also Raul 71, Fernando Morientes 33, Fernando Torres 20).
|´Proud´ Smith hails Australia selectors after regaining Ashes|
|England ´outplayed´ by Australia as Root loses grip on the urn|
|Conte rails against Chelsea exit rumours|
|Dominant Australia regain the Ashes|
|Arnold backed for Socceroos job as Ryan pays tribute to Postecoglou|
|Jaguars end NFL playoff drought, Packers in danger|
|LeBron logs third straight triple-double as Cavaliers keep rolling|
|I´m happy playing for Lazio, says Man United target Milinkovic-Savic|
|Klopp dislikes ´Fab Four´ nickname|
|Wet pitch, rain delay final day in Perth|
|Ronaldo a legend, one of best ever – Ramos|
|Richardson to put Panthers up for sale at season´s end|
|Starc set to bowl despite bruised heel|
|Steelers star Brown suffers calf injury|
|Patriots edge Steelers in thriller|
|Kaka Retires: The last member of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Barcelona won´t give Real Madrid a guard of honour – Amor|
|Valverde adamant Clasico won´t decide LaLiga|
|Barcelona could have held Griezmann talks, says Amor|
|There are other challengers - Suarez tempers Clasico fever|
|Adverse drugs test has put Froome in ´horrible situation´|
|Pre-season win over Spurs key to City´s season, Guardiola claims|
|Juventus still monitoring Liverpool´s Can - Marotta|
|Griezmann apologises for ´awkward´ fancy dress|
|Barcelona lose Alcacer for El Clasico|
|Barcelona 4 Deportivo La Coruna 0: Suarez, Paulinho at the double in Clasico warm-up|
|Griezmann attracts criticism for ´racist´ fancy dress|
|Spedding extends Sarries losing streak, Wasps halt La Rochelle|
|Klopp calls for Liverpool consistency after Bournemouth battering|
|Coutinho won´t be drawn on Liverpool future|
|Kaka Retires: Ballon d´Or, Milan glory and Brazil brilliance among career highlights|
|Liverpool make top-flight history in Bournemouth victory|
|We can´t think we´re unbeatable - Jesus|
|Lukaku´s love for West Brom behind muted celebration - Mourinho|
|Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 4: Coutinho sparkles as Reds return to winning ways|
|Pool-topping Blues gain Sale revenge|
|Kaka Retires: Former clubs and team-mates pay tribute|
|Dybala needs to be in better physical shape - Allegri|
|Hearts break spell but Celtic join Milan, Porto among unbeaten elite|
|Juventus allowed Bologna nothing - Pjanic|
|Mourinho: United lost ambition in second-half slump|
|Lingard claiming second goal in Manchester United win|
|Rohit relishing overseas challenges after Sri Lanka ODI series win|
|Kaka eyes future in the boardroom after resisting Milan swansong|
|West Brom 1 Manchester United 2: Lukaku on target against old club|
|Former AC Milan and Brazil star Kaka announces retirement|
|Bologna 0 Juventus 3: Pjanic, Mandzukic and Matuidi send champions second|
|Feyenoord hit seven against Sparta Rotterdam|
|Dhawan hundred seals series win after Sri Lanka collapse|
|Gattuso slams ´embarrassing´ Milan after Verona defeat|
|Celtic´s 69-match unbeaten run ends with Hearts thrashing|
|Fekir keen on Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico, Manchester City... and Arsenal|
|Julian Savea not ruling out rugby league switch|
|Mbappe pips Martial to Telefoot Trophy|
|Verona 3 AC Milan 0: Gattuso´s side slip to insipid defeat|
|Man City´s celebrations? You should hear Burnley, says Rooney|
|Froome´s Vuelta test bad for cycling, says Bardet|
|Vince backs Cook and Root to overcome slump|
|Rooney wants greedy Rashford, has high hopes for Martial|
|Man City aren´t one of the Premier League´s best ever - Rooney|
|Rose romps to Indonesian Masters title|
|The best answer is laughing - Ronaldo mocks Gremio boss Renato|
|Brisbane Roar 1 Melbourne Victory 2: Williams and Barbarouses boost pre-derby mood|
|LeBron James wants to break ´stereotype´ around ageing stars after passing Larry Bird|
|Hazlewood frustrated as Anderson issues rallying call|
|The Ashes Round-up: Weather holds up Australia|
|Perez keen for ´spectacular´ Ronaldo to never leave Madrid|
|Rain halts Australia charge for Ashes glory|
|Numbers tell the story as Cook´s Ashes woes continue|
|Golovkin, Alvarez scared to face me - Saunders|