Without being sure whether the European champion can continue defending the title achieved last year, given the sanctions imposed on its oligarch owner, close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the team coached by Thomas Tuchel got their ticket with relative ease for the rooms.
Driven by an audience that packed the Pierre Mauroy stands for the second time this season, the Gauls squeezed the European champions, but showed why they are the team with the worst UEFA coefficient of those remaining in a competition that is left without French representatives .
A goal over half an hour made them feed the dream and woke up the alarms in Chelsea, hit in their nervous system for a few convulsive days due to the situation in which they are left with Avramovich’s fall from grace.
But the scare was not enough and, led by a great Marcos Alonso, a solid Ngolo Kanté and an active Azpilicueta, they managed to turn the game around.
THE FAITH OF LILLE
Motivated to achieve the feat that would put them in the quarterfinals for the first time in their history, the French were looking for a goal that would put the comeback as close to possible as possible, but as they have been doing throughout the season, they lacked dynamite in the attack to overcome for the best defense in the Champions League.
The European champions did not show the same excellence as during the first leg and showed signs of a certain defensive permeability for which Lille put emotion in the stands.
Yilmaz took advantage of a Chelsea loss in the 7th minute to give himself a first chance, but he already showed the first signs of a lack of aim. Jonathan David gave work to the London defense, nervous and dislocated, which only regained some calm when as the game progressed the “blues” took possession of the ball and tamed the French rage.
Alonso became the most dangerous man of the English, with a speed down the wings that forced the Gauls to fall back. But after half an hour, a lost ball in Mendy’s area touched Jorginho’s arm and, warned by the VAR, the Italian referee Davide Massa awarded a penalty, which Yilmaz converted.
The Turkish goal, the third in this competition, filled Pierre Mauroy with hope, who began to dream of a comeback.
A jug of cold water for the French who were already counting on increasing the pressure on Chelsea in the second half and went to the locker room with the blow of the tie in the first shot of the Londoners in the game.
What seemed like the first stone of the comeback ended in disappointment for the French and relief for the English who saw how they only had to endure half a half. The intensity dropped completely in the French, but a header from Xeka in the 63rd that crashed against Mendy’s post, restored Lille’s faith in achieving the dream feat.
But again the French found reality, their lack of bite in attack and the efficiency of a rival who only needed half an opportunity to get ahead. It was in minute 71, when Mount crossed into the area and Azpilicueta, with his knee, scored his first goal this year in the Champions League, the fourth of his career.
The Spanish goal ended all hope of the French and brought serenity to a Chelsea that will continue to be aware of what is decided in the highest spheres of power.
– Data sheet:
1- Lille: Jardim; Celik (Weah, m.58), Fonte, Botman (Onana, m.58), Leave it; Bamba (Gomes, m.78), André, Xeka, Gudmunsson (Bradaric, m.78); Yilmaz, David (Ben Arfa, d.77).
2- Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen (Chalobah, m.33), Thiago Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta, Kanté, Jorginho (Loftus-Cheek, m.74), Kovacic (Mount, m.46), Alonso; Havertz (Ziyech, m.83), Pulisic (Lukaku, m.74) Goals: 1-0, m.38: Yilmaz (p); 1-1, m.45+3: Pulisic; 1-2, m.71: Azpilicueta,
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA), admonished the local Gudmundsson and the visiting Chalobah.
Incidents: Second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League played at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Lille before some 48,000 spectators.