If there ever was a flattering scoreline which distorted the overall balance of play, this would be it.
FC Nordsjaelland, in their first Champions League game at home, were more than able for one of the biggest match in their history. But 79 minutes of hard work was wasted with a depleted, lethargic final ten, as Chelsea’s stumbled in three more to make it four points from a possible six thus far.
FC Nordsjaelland may well be a side that only existed in its current name in 2003, but though the stats stock up largely in Chelsea’s favour, the men from Denmark more than gave the European Champions a run for their money.
Chelsea, on the other hand, needed to show their credentials in Europe after a historic campaign last year. A lapse of concentration ultimately meant Chelsea forfeited two points at home, but Chelsea were determined to make sure they did not suffer on their travels.
Much has been made of the importance of Frank Lampard, having been left out of the crucial game against Arsenal at the weekend, but the manager stuck firmly to his word by utilising his squad and rotating well, with John Terry and Eden Hazard rested, in an otherwise strong line-up, which did include a return for the Chelsea vice-captain.
And the man who has scored more goals in the Champions League than the entire Nordsjaelland side played his part in unlocking the opponent, flicking on a Torres path into the pass of Juan Mata, who sumptuously side-footed home.
It lit up the match, in an otherwise frustrating half, with chances at both ends, but with no end product. Indeed, Chelsea had come close a few times before Mata broke the deadlock: Moses saw his header come off the woodwork, whilst in-form Fernando Torres had chances to add to his impressive run, but for impressive defending from Okore.
Hansen was proving to be a wall in the host’s goal, blocking shots from Frank Lampard early in the second half, whilst once again keeping Torres at bay, who certainly looked like he had more than a goal in him, if the obstacle that was Hansen budged.
One goal always invites pressure, and Di Matteo sensed another slip-up could not be contemplated, cue Hazard coming on, to add to the problems of their defence, in the hope to seek out another goal.
Nordsjaelland’s lack of experience in the top games showed as chances to peg back the Blues were wasted, much to the relief of the defence, who were caught slacking.
But if the defence was leaky at the back, David Luiz more than made up up front. A Torres foul brought up a free-kick, and David Luiz wellied it in. Hansen immovable, a doubling of the Chelsea lead would surely kill off all Danish hope.
And indeed it did, and to some style. Two became three just one minute later, when Juan Mata scored his second of the evening, trickling past the defence before a mis-hit seeped into the goal.
And there was time to rub the salt into the wound on the 90th minute, with Oscar dancing past the defence, before squaring to his Brazilian compatriot Ramires to tap home.