Chelsea's so-so performance on Tuesday was enough to seal a comfortable win against 10-man Maccabi Tel-Aviv and secure their advancement to the round of 16 in the Champions League.
Maccabi, on the other hand, remain without a point in their group.
Like their previous win over the Israeli side, the Blues won by a comfortable four goal margin. However, much of the game was spent with the scoreline reading 1-0 and with the visitors struggling to make the game safe. After Gary Cahill's initial goal, it took Chelsea 53 minutes to secure their win with a second goal, courtesy of a Willian free kick.
Chelsea started out both halves somewhat poorly but managed to find their rhythm with time. Defensively, they look sharper; it was in the final third where they seemed to struggle to deliver. For this reason, Jose Mourinho became frustrated with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, replacing the former with Pedro Rodriguez in the 69th minute and chastising the latter during half-time.
However, after Willian decided the match, the Blues picked their heads up and found the back of the net twice more with goals from Oscar and Kurt Zouma.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv's performance
The home side were again outmatched, but fought hard to stay in the game while they had a chance.
Maccabi started out the game strong, surprising everyone and sending the visitors back on their heels. After the first ten minutes, however, the visitors pulled themselves together and responded strongly.
Despite Chelsea's better form and Cahill's goal, Maccabi fought hard for an equaliser with attempts from Dor Peretz, Eli Dasa, and Tal Ben Haim II, who managed to link up well but could not put too much pressure on Chelsea's back line.
In the 40th minute, things looked bleaker for the home side as Tal Ben Haim was sent off for a foul on Costa.
In the second half, 10-man Maccabi were able to pose a threat to Chelsea on the counter as the Blues struggled to deliver in the final third, but the Israeli side were unable to make many serious attempts on goal.
Maccabi goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic was brilliant for his side, making several important saves and shutting down Costa's every attempt. In the end, however, Willian's goal opened the floodgates for the Blues, and Maccabi were too tired and too outmatched to prevent subsequent goals or mount a comeback.
Chelsea's last two victories have not been very convincing, but they may be enough to give the Blues the confidence they need to face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
However, Chelsea will need to improve their game if they are to secure important wins against Spurs and later on, Porto.