UCL: Chelsea Overcomes French Champions Lille, Chukwueze’s Villarreal Hold Juventus

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Chelsea on Tuesday night chalked up a 2-0 win against Ligue 1 champions Lille in their first leg game of the round of 16 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League.

The Blues’ performance was promising as they did it without striker Romelu Lukaku who was left on the bench after a disappointing outing over the weekend against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park where he managed to touch the ball a meagre seven times.

Thomas Tuchel deployed German international Kai Havertz in the number nine position and the German responded with an early goal and a far more impressive all round display than Lukaku managed at Palace.

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Christian Pulisic scored a second goal just after the hour mark to give Chelsea a decent cushion going into the second leg of this tie in a fortnight’s time, although Lille were no pushovers at Stamford Bridge and caused the Blues plenty of problems.

But assured displays from Thiago Silva in defence and N’Golo Kante in midfield meant Chelsea came through unscathed, although they lost Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech to injuries early in the second half, a concern for Tuchel ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday.



Kante was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match prize as he produced an assist and generally had a great game.

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At the Estadio De Ceramica, Dusan Vlahovic had a dream Champions League debut, scoring within 32 seconds, but Adrien Rabiot’s error allowed Daniel Parejo to equalise for Villarreal, as the Round of 16 remains in the balance.

Super Eagles of Nigeria forward Samuel Chukwueze was on action for 90 minutes ad was replaced by 19-year-old Yeremi Pino in the 90th minute.

The Bianconeri were without Paulo Dybala, Federico Chiesa, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani and Federico Chiesa, while Leonardo Bonucci and Luca Pellegrini were only fit for the bench. The Yellow Submarine missed Paco Alcacer, Gerard Moreno, Francis Coquelin and Ruben Peña.

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