( AFP ) - Chelsea produced a dominant performance to outclass Norwegian champions Rosenborg 4-0 on Wednesday and guarantee they will top Group B and reach the knockout phase of the Champions League for the sixth straight time.
It was a combination of ruthless finishing and hapless defending, on a freezing night at the Lerkendal stadium, that combined to give Chelsea a 3-0 lead at half-time and effectively end the match as a contest.
Didier Drogba scored twice, Brazilian defender Alex hit the target with a fluke free-kick and Joe Cole gave the scoreline an emphatic look with a late marker in what was a controlled and professional performance from the English side.
Blue's skipper John Terry was evidently pleased and happy to get through to the next round.
"We started really well, the pitch was a bit wet and difficult but we adapted well. We knew it was going to be difficult but the early goal helped and all the front boys performed really well today.
"It was a great Chelsea performance, we wanted to get as many goals as possible and thankfully we're through and that's all that matters," he told Sky Sports.
The result also exacted a tinge of revenge for the Stamford Bridge outfit, who could only manage a draw against the same opposition at home in September, that cost Jose Mourinho his job and allowed Avram Grant to take over as manager.
Grant who endured a delicate start to his tenure has since led the Blues on a 13 match unbeaten run in all competitions and this was one of his easiest nights in charge.
The Premier League runners-up began confidently and had already created two good chances before Drogba opened the scoring in emphatic fashion on eight minutes.
England midfielder Joe Cole burst into the Rosenborg half and hurdled some flying tackles before firing in a low rasping shot that Lars Hirschfeld could only parry.
Drogba was first to the rebound, composed himself and allowed the ball to settle before smashing an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net.
The Ivory Coast striker then steered the three-time semi-finalists into a more comfortable driving position when he finished off another slick counter-attack with 20 minutes on the clock.
The dynamic Michael Essien intercepted a loose ball just inside the Rosenborg half and fed the charging Shawn Wright-Phillips.
Phillips then showed incredible determination as he wriggled past two defenders, released Essien who had run down the right wing and when the Ghana captain was finally tackled, the ball dropped at the feet of Drogba who scooped the ball home.
Brazilian centre-back Alex then launched a long range grass-cutting free-kick that was heading into Hirschfeld's arms before defender Mikael Dorsin foolishly stuck a boot out and deflected the ball past his own 'keeper.
Chelsea led 3-0 at half-time, the match was as cooked as a Thanksgiving turkey and although Rosenborg ran themselves ragged, the result was never in doubt.
Cole added a spark of life to an uninspiring second half, when he bundled home the rebound from Essien's shot with 17 minutes left, and the already celebrating Chelsea fans could look ahead to the next round.