In Summary
  • Conte's side were in business-like mood against the minnows from Azerbaijan, with Pedro's long-range effort putting them ahead early on at Stamford Bridge.
  • Zappacosta was making his home debut for Chelsea after his deadline day move from Torino and he marked the occasion with his first goal for the club, a cross-shot that capped a lung-bursting run from the Italy right-back.
  • Cesar Azpilicueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi were all on the scoresheet in the second half to give Chelsea their joint biggest Champions League win.

LONDON

Chelsea made a swaggering start to their Champions League challenge as memorable strikes from Pedro and Davide Zappacosta inspired a 6-0 rout of Qarabag on Tuesday.

Antonio Conte's side were in business-like mood against the minnows from Azerbaijan, with Pedro's long-range effort putting them ahead early on at Stamford Bridge.

Zappacosta was making his home debut for Chelsea after his deadline day move from Torino and he marked the occasion with his first goal for the club, a cross-shot that capped a lung-bursting run from the Italy right-back.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi were all on the scoresheet in the second half to give Chelsea their joint biggest Champions League win.

"It was a good result. We started the Champions League in the right way," Conte said.

"I saw great commitment, focus and concentration right from the start. It was a great performance from the players.

"There were a lot of positive things from us. Davide Zappacosta played very well."

Placed in a tricky group including Atletico Madrid and Roma, the English champions couldn't afford to slip up against a team of Qarabag's limited European pedigree.

Conte took a gamble by making five changes from Saturday's 2-1 win at Leicester City, resting David Luiz, Victor Moses, Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata.

But Conte, whose switches were made with an eye on Sunday's Premier League clash against Arsenal, had no need to worry as Chelsea laid seige to the Qarabag goal before taking the lead in the fifth minute.

Willian's pass found Pedro unmarked on the edge of the penalty area and the Spain winger curled a fine first-time finish into the top corner.

Qarabag were the first club from Azerbaijan to play in the Champions League, having emerged from the ashes of their war-torn region to become one of the tournament's most unlikely success stories.

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