Willian’s fortuitous free-kick gave Chelsea a deserved lead in their Champions League opener.
The Brazilian appeared to overhit his delivery which evaded Gary Cahill’s outstretched boot but it still found its way past Maccabi keeper Predrag Rajkovic.
The goal spared the blushes of Eden Hazard, who had missed a fifth-minute penalty.
Willian was again the instigator, as he raced on to a through ball and poked it beyond Rajkovic, who brought him down.
The only punishment was a yellow card, however, as Hazard blazed the spot-kick well over the bar.
The much-changed Blues, who left out captain John Terry, Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic, dominated the opening stages, with Maccabi looking anxious in defence and in possession.
However Chelsea’s own lack of confidence showed up at times, with Hazard and Cesc Fabregas both caught dwelling on the ball.
Abdul Baba Rahman has looked good on his debut, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek marked his first Champions League start with a first-minute booking.
Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Cahill (c), Baba Rahman; Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Remy.
Subs: Blackman, Terry, Ivanovic, Ramires, Matic, Traore, Diego Costa.