Champions League: Lille vs Chelsea 16/3/22 – Full Match Report

Blues taste victory in France which confirms their place in the last eight of the Champions League.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

Off the field, Chelsea are still surrounded by bundles of uncertainty with Roman Abramovich set to finalise the sale of the club this week. As a result, the club have been hit by a range of sanctions which are immensely affecting the club financially. Regardless, Thomas Tuchel and his side are still required to compete under a special license, with a trip to France next on their list of objectives.


After picking up a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge last month, the Blues took a relatively comfortable lead to northern France. Lille, last year’s Ligue 1 champions, were still however not entirely out of the picture – looking to cause an upset in Chelsea’s trophy defence.


Heading into the game, Tuchel made five changes to the team that beat Newcastle on Sunday. The German reverted to a similar line-up to the one which beat Lille last month, with Chelsea setting up in a 3-5-2 formation.

The hosts on the other hand made two changes to the starting eleven that was named in London last month, with Burak Yilmaz and Gabriel Gudmondsson replacing Amadou Onana and Renato Sanches.


First Half:

The Blues were welcomed to the pitch in what was a hostile atmosphere at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.


After an intense start to the game, Canadian striker Jonathan David got the better of Trevoh Chalobah to win a free-kick on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. The set-piece then went on to lead to a penalty for the hosts, with Jorginho penalised for handball with VAR intervening the on-field decision.


With a thunderous strike, Burak Yilmaz converted the penalty to slice Chelsea’s aggregate lead in half.

The drama, alongside the atmosphere in the ground, could have been enough to throw the visitors off. However, three minutes into the allocated stoppage time, Jorginho played a through ball into Christian Pulisic who took his chance superbly to give the Blues a two-goal cushion heading into the break.

Second Half:

A problem for the French champions in the first leg was their ruthlessness in front of goal. Lille looked positive going forward, but failed to show quality in the final third to really punish the current European Champions.


Similarly, Lille could have had a second just five minutes into the second half. However, Yilmaz failed to find the target with a header that landed just wide of the post.


On the 60th minute, Antonio Rüdiger came close to putting the visitors out of sight with a sweetly struck volley that was fired just wide. Two minutes later, margins were even finer at the other end as Xeka struck the post with a header right in front of goal.


Less than 10 minutes later, Chelsea’s patience paid off as substitute Mason Mount found César Azpilcueta at the back post who beat Léo Jardim with a first-time effort that nestled into the back of the net.

The last time Azpilicueta scored in the Champions League was ironically against Lille in 2019. Just as it was then, the goal proved to be enough to give the Blues the win – making them 4-1 winners on aggregate.

After the Whistle:

Despite the off-field shenanigans, Chelsea continue to prove their dominance on the pitch by picking up yet another victory in Europe. The result against Lille marks the Blues fifth consecutive win, whilst also remaining unbeaten (in 90 minutes) in their last 13 games.


With still top four to play for in the Premier League, Chelsea also in the last eight of both the Champions League and the FA Cup. The Blues have proven to be a fantastic cup team under Thomas Tuchel, who is excelling under difficult circumstances at Stamford Bridge.


Whether fans will be able to attend the games or not is unknown. However, the quarter-final and semi-final draw for the Champions League will be made on Friday March 18th (11am UK).

Final Score:

Lille 1-2 Chelsea.

- Yilmaz (38’ pen).

- Pulisic (45+3’).

- Azpilicueta (71’).


BBC Sports Player of the Match:

César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Line-ups:

Lille (4-4-2): Jardim; Çelik (58’), Fonte ©, Botman (58’), Djaló; Bamba (78’), André, Xeka, Gudmundsson (77’); Yilmaz, David (77’).

- Subs: Weah (58’), Onana (58’), Ben Arfa (77’), Bradaric (77’), Gomes (78’).


Chelsea (3-5-2): Mendy; Christensen (33’), Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta ©, Kanté, Jorginho (74’), Kovačić (45’), Alonso; Havertz (83’), Pulisic (74’).

- Subs: Chalobah (33’), Mount (45’), Loftus-Cheek (74’), Lukaku (74’), Ziyech (83’).


Referee:

Davide Massa.


Attendance:

49,048.


Possession:

Lille (44%) vs Chelsea (56%).


Shots:

Lille (8) vs Chelsea (8).


Shots on Target:

Lille (1) vs Chelsea (4).


Corners:

Lille (4) vs Chelsea (1).


Fouls:

Lille (15) vs Chelsea (20).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match Highlights:

- (credit | BT Sport).

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