Chelsea did their part on Wednesday night, but got no help from the other match in Group E. The Blues went all-out on the attack in the second half of their match against Nordsjaelland and rolled to an easy 6-1 victory, but they'll be headed to the Europa League after Juventus defeated Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
The first half featured a ridiculous sequence of three penalties given for handball in a period of just seven minutes. Gary Cahill was the first offender, in the 31st minute. Nicolai Stokholm stepped up to the spot, but took a poor penalty and Petr Cech saved without a problem. When Nordsjaelland committed the same offense on the other end, the same result was achieved, with Jesper Hansen palming away Eden Hazard's attempt.
For David Luiz and Chelsea, the third time was the charm. On the third penalty given for a handball, Luiz stepped up to take for the Blues and buried a powerful shot to put them ahead. Fernando Torres doubled Chelsea's lead just before the break on a counter-attack, though he got a bit lucky. His first shot was saved by Hansen, but deflected back off his body into his path. He made no mistake on his second attempt, and put Chelsea up 2-0.
Nordsjaelland stunned Chelsea just after halftime with an incredible goal just 20 seconds after halftime, with Joshua John shocking the hosts. Kasper Lorentzen found him with a diagonal ball that beat Branislav Ivanovic badly, and John applied the finish.
That sparked the game to life quickly as Nordsjaelland developed some belief that they could come back, but it was quickly shut down by Gary Cahill. He nodded in a free kick with an excellent header in the 51st minute, and from there, the rout was on. Torres put the game to bed with another goal five minutes later, before Oscar and Juan Mata followed up with goals of their own.
While a six-goal performance is encouraging for an anemic Chelsea attack, they won't care much about consolation prizes. For the defending champions to be out before the knockout stage is extremely disappointing.