Chelsea takes a big push towards qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals

The “blue” team had a remarkable night at Stanford Bridge and advanced much of their place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League by beating Lille 2-0

Eight wonderful minutes of Kai Havertz they disarmed the Little and put the round of 16 tie of the Champions League ready for candy for him Chelsea, who will go to France with a comfortable 2-0 on aggregate.

Thomas Tuchel made the important decision to dispense with Romelu Lukaku after his disastrous match at the weekend, in which he only touched the ball seven times (a Premier League all-time record), and entrusted the lead to Kai Havertz as a false ‘nine’.

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Risky to leave out the great bet of the season, a footballer worth 100 million. But Tuchel was right. The first eight minutes of the German were the best since he wore the Chelsea shirt. At least the most dangerous. From more to less and culminated with the goal that paved the duel in London.

He missed first a very clear shot in the small area, but he was not demoralized. Two minutes later he stood in the area, threatened the defender and hit the long post with a thread. garden he stretched to send the ball to corner. Ziyech, who is living his best days at Stamford Bridge, placed the corner into the heart of the area and Havertz appeared only to score with a diving header.

The 1-0 after eight minutes promised a walk for Chelsea, but they were stuck during the first half. Lille did not worry, not even with Renato Sanches nor with Jonathan David, and Chelsea could not find a way to attack the French. Too much parsimony at Chelsea, who had a comfortable result, even more so without the away goals rule, and Tuchel’s men were able to wait for the second half so that there would be spaces and leave the tie more in the face.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C) of Chelsea in action against Benjamin Andre (L) of Lille during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 1st leg soccer match between Chelsea FC and Lille OSC in London, Great Britain, on February 22, 2022. Photo: EFE

In a counterattack, around the 60th minute, Kanté He started from his own field. No one could stop his acceleration and he reached the front. gave it to Christian Pulisic, this body the defender, and stung it over Jardim to make it 2-0.

But not everything was good news for the ‘Blues’, who lost Hakim Ziyech and Matteo Kovacic due to injury, both apparently muscular. The Moroccan and the Croatian had to leave early with the League Cup final on the horizon this Sunday.

With the second leg 2-0, Chelsea have a very good chance of getting into the top eight in Europe for the second consecutive year, something they haven’t achieved since the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. The return, in France, will be next March 16.

Andreas Christensen (2-L) of Chelsea in action against Benjamin Andre (2-R) of Lille during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 1st leg football match between Chelsea FC and Lille OSC in London, Great Brittany, on February 22, 2022. Photo: EFE

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– Datasheet:

2 – Chelsea: Mendy; Alonso (Sarr, m.80), Rudiger, Silva, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek, m.51), Kanté; Pulisic (Werner, m.80), Havertz y Ziyech (Saúl, m.60).

0 – Small: Jardim; Djalo (Gudmundsson, m.76), Botman, Fonte, Celik; André, Xeka, Onana (Yilmaz, m.65); Bamba, David (Zhegrova, m.81) and Sanches.

Goals: 1-0. Havertz, m.8 y 2-0. Pulisic, m.63.

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP) booked Loftus-Cheek (m.83) by the locals and Ben Arfa (m.87) by the visitors.

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