UCL: Chelsea Secure A Place In The Last 16
UCL: Chelsea secure a place in the last 16
Chelsea secured a place in the last 16 of the uefa champions league with a slim victory over Lille.
Chelsea dominated possession and scored in the 19th minute, a well-worked move that culminated with Christian Pulisic setting Willian free on the right. In the area Tammy Abraham found the space and the angle to give Willian a target and then the English striker turned the cross in. It settled his team down and after two home Champions League games in which they had lost control, this was much better from Frank Lampard’s players. Antonio Rudiger was back in the centre of defence, returning from injury after four months out, alongside Kurt Zouma.
The second goal was a header from Cesar Azpilicueta direct from the corner of Emerson, struck left-footed from the right flank. More importantly for Lampard, Lille had not managed a single attempt on the home goal all half.
The Lille goal had been made by Bamba who got in down the left wing and cut the ball back to Remy who finished cleanly. By then Michy Batshuayi had come on for Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi for Pulisic. Lampard wanted his players to keep possession and see the game out although the later stages became a battle between the teams to get the next goal. It took N’Golo Kante and Willian in the later stages of time added on to keep the ball and run the clock down.
It is Valencia who go through as winners of Group H, and once again there will be much for Chelsea to learn from this – mostly how they ended up clinging on to the victory.
The introduction of Bamba made a big difference to Lille, who had some bright skilful players if a little lacking in the ability to turn those flashes of inspiration into something meaningful. Bamba finished the game in an attacking position and Sanches also came off the bench in the late stages. Lampard was pacing the technical area with some concern as Remy had a late run down the left flank. His shot on his right foot was weak.