Willian's wonderful late volley handed Frank Lampard his first Champions League victory as a manager as Chelsea beat Lille 2-1 on Wednesday.
Birthday boy Tammy Abraham's eighth goal of the season handed Chelsea the lead midway through the first half, but 20-year-old Victor Osimhen drew Lille level before the break with his seventh goal for the Ligue 1 club.
Kepa Arrizabalaga bailed Chelsea out with a string of saves in the second period as Lille pushed for a winner in front of an expectant home crowd.
But the night belonged to Chelsea as Willian marked his 300th appearance for the club with a stunning volley from Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross to get Lampard's side off the mark in Champions League Group H.
Lille: Maignan (6), Celik (5), Fonte (5), Gabriel (5), Mandava (5), Ikone (7), Soumare (6), Andre (6), Bamba (6), Araujo (6), Osimhen (7).
Subs: Xeka (5), Yazici (5), Sanches (5).
Chelsea: Kepa (8), James (7), Azpilicueta (6), Zouma (6), Tomori (7), Alonso (7), Jorginho (7), Kante (6), Mount (7), Willian (8), Abraham (8).
Subs: Hudson-Odoi (7), Kovacic (n/a), Pedro (n/a).
Man of the Match: Tammy Abraham
How Chelsea got off the mark
Frank Lampard handed 19-year-old Reece James his Champions League debut in a youthful Chelsea side that made an encouraging start in the hostile surroundings of the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where the closed roof ramped up the atmosphere.
Mason Mount had the Blues' first opportunity, bringing a clearance under control on the edge of the area on 17 minutes, but his finish left much to be desired as he volleyed well wide of the target.
But Lampard's faith in youth was rewarded soon after thanks to a birthday goal from Abraham, gift-wrapped by his academy team-mate Fikayo Tomori, as a defence-splitting pass found the 22-year-old in space in the box, and he controlled, swivelled and fired into the far corner.
Chelsea's inexperience at Champions League level saw them lose control of the game, and their lead lasted just 11 minutes as Lille dangerman Osimhen was given the freedom of the penalty box to head his seventh goal of the season beyond Kepa.
But Chelsea managed to wrestle back the initiative and were unfortunate not to restore their lead before the break as Jorginho's first-time curler from James' cutback rattled the frame of the Lille goal in the final minute of the first period.
With the game there for the taking, both sides readily exchanged blows after the break. Tomori headed a Willian corner over within four minutes of the restart before Benjamin Andre's glancing near-post header from a corner drew a fine fingertip save from Kepa.
After Lampard introduced Hudson-Odoi, Osimhen spurned a glorious chance to double his and Lille's tally when he selfishly went alone after being played into space down the right channel and blazed over at the near post instead of squaring for a team-mate in space.
And he was made to pay the price 13 minutes from time as Hudson-Odoi's brilliant cross from the left fell perfectly for Willian, who volleyed a shot into the turf and over Mike Maignan in the Lille goal to seal Lampard's landmark victory.
What the manager said...
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard: "To be on zero points after one game is one thing but to come away tonight against a tough team, knowing that every game is going to be tough, it gives us confidence, it gives us points, it gives us a feeling in the group we're in a better position. Now the hard work begins in this group because every game is going to be
Analysis: Abraham for England?
Sky Sports' Peter Smith...
With Gareth Southgate set to name his squad for England's Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria on Thursday, Tammy Abraham picked the perfect time to score his first Champions League goal and remind the national team boss of his fine finishing ability.
Abraham hasn't featured for England since playing in friendlies against Germany and Brazil in 2017 and is also eligible for Nigeria. An appearance in either of England's upcoming qualifiers would end that uncertainty and the 22-year-old's form warrants an opportunity.
The striker has seven Premier League goals already this season, including a hat-trick at Wolves, and his smart control and clinical finish against Lille underlined the danger he poses in the opposition's box. With Marcus Rashford out of sorts and reportedly struggling with injury, now could be an ideal opportunity for Southgate to make room in his squad and give Abraham his shot.
Lampard's landmark win in stats
- Chelsea ended a run of four games without a win in the Champions League (D2 L2), picking up their first victory in the competition since November 2017 (4-0 v FK Qarabag).
- Across all competitions, only Raheem Sterling (9) has scored more goals for an English club than Chelsea's Tammy Abraham (8) in 2019-20.
- In the 68 games that Frank Lampard has managed between Derby County and Chelsea in all competitions, his teams have only kept a clean sheet in 22% of their matches (15/68).
- Lille are winless in their last nine home Champions League games (D3 L6), losing each of the last four in a row.
Live Renault Super Sunday
Chelsea travel to Southampton on Renault Super Sunday, live from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 2pm. Chelsea resume their Champions League campaign away at Ajax on October 23 at 5.55pm, while Lille host Valencia on on the same day at 8pm.