Chelsea needed to win to guarantee qualification for the Champions League knockout rounds, and win is exactly what we did. Just as the doctor prescribed.
Unlike over the weekend, Chelsea started well and took the lead without much delay, Abraham getting yet another goal, tapping in from Willian’s cutback inside of 20 minutes. A second arrived before half-time, as Azpilicueta scored from a corner — A CORNER!!
Chelsea pushed for a third in the second-half, but it was Lille instead who found the back of the net — Loïc Rémy, of all players, scoring on his Stamford Bridge return — making the last 10 minutes fairly uncomfortable.
Lille played very much a B-side, with nothing to play for and a tough battle on their hands in the domestic league to qualify for next year’s Champions League. But Chelsea stuck to the task at hand and got the job done.
And we needed to, as Valencia surprisingly beat Ajax in Amsterdam and thus advance as group winners. Chelsea finish second, and Ajax drop into the Europa League!
- Three changes from the weekend for Lampard, but three crucial changes as Rüdiger returned at long last, replacing Christensen, Emerson coming back in for James (and Azpi going back to the right), and Jorginho replacing Mount to switch the team to a 4-3-3.
- Like-for-like changes in Hudson-Odoi for Pulisic, Batshuayi for Abraham, Mount for Kovačić
- Emerson’s surely won his corner-taking audition from the rigth side. His in-swinging deliveries were on point all evening, including from free kicks as well.
- Next up: Bournemouth at home on Saturday