Chelsea 2-1 Lille: Blues reach last 16 after late scare
Chelsea finish second behind Valencia; draw for last 16 takes place on Monday
Last Updated: 11/12/19 6:26am
Chelsea squeezed into the last 16 of the Champions League, surviving a late scare to beat Lille 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Tammy Abraham gave Chelsea the lead from close range (19), his fifth goal in nine for club and country, before Cesar Azpilicueta headed home their second from a corner (35).
Former Chelsea forward Loic Remy made for a nervy finish as he superbly halved the deficit with Lille's first shot on target (78), but Frank Lampard's side held on.
Due to an inferior head-to-head record, Chelsea finished second in Group H behind Valencia, who won 1-0 at Ajax, meaning the Dutch side drop into the Europa League having been semi-finalists in this competition last season.
The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League takes place on Monday in Nyon, with proceedings set to start at 11am, UK time.
How Chelsea got the job done
In monsoon-like conditions early on, Chelsea moved through the gears to all-but put the game to bed by half-time.
Who can Chelsea play in last 16?
- Bayern Munich
- RB Leipzig
Christian Pulisic, Emerson and N'Golo Kante all went close with efforts from just in and around the box, before Chelsea got their opener. Willian did well in the area on the right, forcing his way to the byline and squaring for Abraham, who shuffled his feet cleverly to turn into the gaping net.
It was 2-0 with 10 minutes to go in the first half as Emerson's wicked corner from the right found Azpilicueta completely unmarked, and he made no mistake, powering a header into the net from six yards.
Chelsea should have been 3-0 up after the break as goalkeeper Mike Maignan denied Pulisic and then Willian, but as the weather eased off in west London, so did the action in the second half.
That was until 12 minutes remaining when Lille, with their very first shot on target, were brought to within a goal of Chelsea as Remy's superb first-time effort from 12 yards from a Jonathan Bamba centre went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Chelsea still attacked, despite knowing a Lille equaliser would send them out; sub Michy Batshuayi nearly put the game to bed with a turn and shot inches over the bar.
It was still an unnecessarily nervy final few moments, having dominated 90 per cent of the contest, and Chelsea may need to up their game as they prepare to face a group winner in the last 16 having finished behind Valencia.
What the manager said...
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: "We need to take more of our chances. That's a fact. Because you leave teams slightly in the game. They probably had two shots at the back-end of the game and one goes in.
"So that was a frustrating thing in a very good performance. I can never doubt that the lads have given everything, but the reality is we need to be better in their box. We need to take more of our chances - whether it's the Premier League or the Champions League."
- Chelsea have now progressed to the knockout stages in 15 of their 16 Champions League participations, failing only in 2012/13.
- Frank Lampard is the first English manager to progress a team from a Champions League group stage (having taken charge of all six group games) since Harry Redknapp with Spurs in 2010/11.
- Loic Remy became the seventh player to score for and against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League, after Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, Diego Costa, Michael Ballack, David Luiz and Willian.
- Tammy Abraham has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season for Chelsea, more than twice as many as the nearest teammate (Christian Pulisic, 6).
Chelsea now host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm. The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League takes place on Monday December 16 in Nyon, with proceedings set to start at 11am, UK time.