Chelsea set up to contain the expected threat from the home side, who certainly came out with plenty of intent and purpose both on and off the ball. The 3-5-2 was working as designed in that respect however, restricting them to little in the way of actually dangerous — even with a few turnovers and giveaways in our own half.
A dirty foul by Burak Yilmaz in an “aerial” “duel” with Andreas Christensen just past the half-hour mark forced the latter into an awkward landing and, not long after, off with an injury however, and that caused a temporary lapse at the back, with the just-on Chalobah giving away a free kick and Jorginho blocking a shot partially with his arm in resulting scramble. Yilmaz himself dispatched the penalty with extreme prejudice.
Chelsea needed half-time to regroup and switch things up, but just as the three minutes of added-on time were about to expire, Jorginho produced yet another key pass and Christian Pulisic guided it low into the far corner with unerring laser-sighted precision.
Chelsea looked a bit more comfortable in the second half, especially once Azpilicueta finished off a cross from Mason Mount — though Lille did hit the post from another defensive lapse just before then, which possibly would’ve made things very different.
Chelsea saw out the final 15-20 minutes without too much trouble, booking our ticket to the quarterfinals. 2-1 winners on the night, 4-1 on aggregate.
- Plenty of changes from the weekend, including a formation change to 3-5-2. Back to more of a 3-4-3 at half-time, with Mount on instead of Kovačić.
- Lukaku, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech also get run-outs
- Christensen injury hopefully nothing too serious
- The draw for the quarterfinals is Friday. Any team can be paired with any other: one of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Benfica, or Villarreal await. Villarreal beat Juventus away, 3-0 (!) in the other game tonight.
- Next up: Middlesbrough away in the FA Cup quaterfinals