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Champions League: Chelsea travel to Lille, Juventus host Villarreal

Chelsea travel to Lille on Wednesday with a 2-0 lead; Juventus welcome Villarreal with the tie level at 1-1; Man Utd out; Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Benfica and Real Madrid are already through

Christian Pulisic doubled the lead for Chelsea against Lille
Image: Christian Pulisic helped Chelsea into a commanding first leg lead over Lille

We bring you the state of play in the Champions League as the remaining last-16 second legs take place this week.

Lille vs Chelsea (0-2 agg) - Wednesday, 8pm kick-off

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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel reflects on a challenging win against Newcastle and jokes that he'll drive the team bus if he has to in order for Chelsea to play in the Champions League.

Chelsea may be working to new, strict budgets for away trips, set by the government as part of the club's restrictions but manager Thomas Tuchel says whatever happens, he and his players will make it to Lille.

"My last information is we have a plane," he said. "We can go by plane and go back by plane. If not we go by train. And if not we go by bus. And if not I'll drive a seven-seater!

"If you asked me 20 years, 30 years ago if I'd join a Champions League match at the sideline and what I'm willing to do, I'd say 'where do I have to be when?' We will be there."

The Champions League holders seized control of their last-16 tie as goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic secured a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James face a "very, very tight" race to be fit in time. Hudson-Odoi has an Achilles issue and James a leg muscle complaint, with both academy graduates big doubts for the Champions League last-16 second leg in France.

Captain Cesar Azpilicueta should be available after illness, while wing-back Marcos Alonso is back to full health after Covid-19.

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Lille should be able to welcome Benjamin Andre back from illness after Renato Sanches picked up a thigh injury against Saint-Etienne last week. He is expected to miss the rest of the month but Lille otherwise have a fully fit squad.

Chelsea provisional squad

Mendy, Arrizabalaga, Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger, Silva, Sarr, Azpilicueta, Alonso, James, Kante, Joriginho, Kovacic, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Niguez, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Pulisic, Mount, Havertz, Werner, Lukaku.

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Our Gillette Labs Precision Play of the week is Kai Havertz's lovely finish in Chelsea's 1-0 win against Newcastle.
  • Lille have lost each of their three UEFA Champions League matches with Chelsea - two group stage matches in 2019-20 and the first leg of this current last 16 tie, going down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, the French side haven't lost more often in the competition against any other side, also losing three times versus both Man Utd and Valencia.
  • After winning only one of their first eight UEFA Champions League away games against French sides (D2 L5), Chelsea have won each of their last two - 2-1 v Lille in 2019-20 and 2-1 v Rennes in 2020-21, although both of those came in the group stage.
  • When winning the first leg of a UEFA Champions League knockout tie, Chelsea have gone on to progress from nine of the 11 ties, though their two failings when doing so did come when playing the second leg away from home - v Barcelona in 1999-00 (quarter-final) and Liverpool in 2006-07 (semi-final).
  • Lille have been eliminated from each of their previous three European knockout ties when losing the first leg, the 2004-05 UEFA Cup last 16, the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League last 16, and last season, in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. In fact, the last Champions League side to progress against the holders after failing to score in the opening leg was Arsenal (v AC Milan) back in 2007-08, though the first leg did end level.
  • Each of Chelsea's last 11 wins in the UEFA Champions League have come with a clean sheet, 10 of which have come under Thomas Tuchel in just 14 matches (D2 L2). Indeed, Tuchel at Chelsea has equalled a joint record in the competition for the fewest games needed to record their 10th clean sheet at a club, alongside Fabio Capello (AC Milan), Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid), and Louis Van Gaal (Ajax).

Away goals rule abolished

Ties level after the second leg will go to extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required, irrespective of the number of away goals a team has scored.

Juventus vs Villarreal (1-1 agg) - Wednesday, 8pm kick-off

Dusan Vlahovic was one the scoresheet for Juventus
Image: Dusan Vlahovic was on the scoresheet for Juventus against Villarreal

Dusan Vlahovic scored the second-fastest goal ever for a Champions League debutant as his Juventus side were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal.

Vlahovic, having signed for Juve in January for £66 million, needed just 33 seconds to put the visitors ahead in Spain but Dani Parejo popped up in the 66th minute to leave the tie nicely poised heading into the second leg in Turin.

Massimiliano Allegri is hopeful that Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini will return for the visit of Villarreal. Midfielder Denis Zakaria picked up a muscular injury in the first leg and is a doubt, along with Leonardo Bonucci while Weston McKennie, Federico Chiesa and Kaio Jorge are out long-term.

Villarreal centre-back Raul Albiol has not yet been ruled out of the second leg after being taken off at half-time. Gerard Moreno, Etienne Capoue and Juan Foyth are doubts while Ruben Pena, Paco Alcacer and Alberto Moreno will definitely miss the tie.

Which teams are in the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws?

Liverpool became the first English team to book their Champions League last-eight spot with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Italian side Inter Milan.

They were joined by Bayern Munich, who defeated RB Salzburg via an 8-2 aggregate win.

Manchester City safely made it through with a 5-0 aggregate win over Sporting Lisbon, while Real Madrid stunned PSG with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Manchester United failed to join their city rivals in the hat as a 1-0 win at Old Trafford gave Atletico Madrid a 2-1 aggregate success, while Benfica progressed 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a late winner at Ajax.

Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal for Liverpool against Inter Milan in the San Siro
Image: Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal for Liverpool against Inter Milan in the San Siro

The list of qualified teams are:

  • Liverpool
  • Bayern Munich
  • Manchester City
  • Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Benfica
  • Juventus or Villarreal
  • Lille or Chelsea

How the draw works

Real Madrid's David Alaba celebrates with Karim Benzema, right, who scored his side's first goal
Image: Real Madrid's David Alaba celebrates with Karim Benzema, right, who scored his side's first goal

The quarter-final and semi-final draws are both 'open' so, unlike the last-16 draw, anyone can face any team in both stages, irrespective of their country of origin or previous fixtures this season.

Each quarter-final tie will be given a number between one and four, with those four balls being used to draw out the semi-final draw that succeeds the last-eight pairings.

When are the remaining knockout ties?

The first-legs of the quarter-final ties will be played on April 5 and 6 with the return fixtures on April 12 and 13. The semi-finals will start on April 26 and 27 with the second legs on May 3 and 4. The Champions League final is on May 28 at Paris' Stade de France.

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