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Goals from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Wayne Bridge at the Arena AufSchalke ensured Chelsea FC finished top of UEFA Champions League Group G and consigned Besiktas JK to a place in the UEFA Cup.
A draw could have been enough to take Besiktas through to the knockout stages, but on a disappointing night for the Turkish champions, AC Sparta Praha clinched the second qualifying spot with a late victory over S.S. Lazio.
Despite midfielder Federico Giunti's suspension, Besiktas coach Mircea Lucescu was able to field nine of the eleven players that had beaten Chelsea on Matchday 2, but Claudio Ranieri rang the changes for the English Premiership leaders.
Only five of the eleven that had ensured Chelsea a place in the knockout stages with a goalless draw over Sparta on Matchday 5 started, and surprisingly the Italian coach reverted to five at the back as Marcel Desailly returned to the centre as captain, flanked by John Terry and William Gallas.
With such a solid foundation to build on Chelsea were rarely troubled and soon wrestled control from a Besiktas side made to feel at home by a 52,000 sell-out crowd despite the match being switched to Germany from Istanbul for security reasons.
With Adrian Mutu on the substitutes' bench and Hernán Crespo injured, Jesper Grønkjær took his chance in the Chelsea attack with a series of incisive runs in the early stages. But it was Hasselbaink who came closest to creating an opening when, on 16 minutes, his low cross was deflected to Celestine Babayaro whose shot was brilliantly smothered by Óscar Córdoba in the Besiktas goal.
Sergen Yalçin, Ilhan Mansiz and Daniel Pancu fought to bring Besiktas to life, but it was not until the 24th minute that they were able to fashion a chance on goal, Ibrahim Üzülmez shooting straight at Carlo Cudicini from a tight angle.
Lampard comes close
A measure of Chelsea's ascendancy was the increase in forward runs by Frank Lampard from midfield as the half progressed and on 37 minutes the England player shot narrowly over after getting the better of Emre Asik to work space for himself.
For all of Chelsea's possession, however, it was Besiktas that should have gone into the break in front. A minute before the interval Kaan Dobra put Pancu through only for the Romanian to hurry his shot and shoot over the bar.
The start of the second half was delayed for six minutes, but when the two sides did get the game under way, Chelsea were soon back in control. Chelsea were far from the flamboyant side that took Lazio apart 4-0 in Rome on Matchday 4 but, marshalled superbly by Desailly, their disciplined, mature performance had Besiktas chasing the ball for long periods.
Córdoba to the rescue
On 67 minutes Hasselbaink could only head into Córdoba's arms after being picked out by Grønkjær, who then set up Geremi only for Córdoba to tip over acrobatically. Grønkjær made way for Damien Duff and the Irish international soon made his presence felt, splitting the Besiktas defence on 77 minutes to allow Hasselbaink to run on and slip the ball past Córdoba as Chelsea's possession finally told.
Bridge makes sure
With five minutes to go, substitute Wayne Bridge gave Chelsea's emphatic victory the gloss it deserved when he fired past Córdoba from the edge of the area. It ensured Chelsea finished top and, with news of Sparta's late winner in Prague filtering through, sent Besiktas into the UEFA Cup.
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