Chelsea survive late scare to beat Lille and secure their place in Champions League knockout stages

Chelsea survive late scare to beat Lille and secure their place in Champions League knockout stages

Chelsea booked their place in the last-16 of the Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Lille, but they were forced to suffer a tense conclusion at Stamford Bridge.

Despite dominating the entire game and seemingly cruising at 2-0, a goal from former Blues striker Loic Remy with twelve minutes remaining put Lille within one goal of ending the hosts’ Champions League campaign.

Azpilicueta’s header proved to be the winner

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Azpilicueta’s header proved to be the winner

With Valencia beating Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam, only a win was good enough for the Blues, and it should’ve been more comfortable against a second-string Ligue 1 side which barely threatened until the 78th minute.

Remy had the chance to break Chelsea hearts in injury time when he produced a tame finish while bearing down on goal.

But first-half strikes from Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta proved enough to see the Blues out of Group H at the expense of Ajax.

The move of the match yielded the opener, as Chelsea turned a set move into an eye-catching team goal.

Abraham rounded off a fine team goal

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Abraham rounded off a fine team goal

Christian Pulisic drove infield from the left and fed Willian cutting in from the right, who cut back a low ball for Abraham to tap in at the near post.

When captain Azpilicueta headed in Emerson’s corner just past the half hour, Chelsea were in total control and already eyeing the knockout stages.

The Blues bossed the second-half’s opening exchanges and should’ve extended their lead on several occasions.

Everyone inside Stamford Bridge held their breath when Remy lashed home a sensational left-footed finish in-off the crossbar.

Lille made things interesting

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Lille made things interesting

Frank Lampard’s men continued to bomb forward in search of a third goal which would end the game, but instead left themselves vulnerable to the counter attack.

With both full-backs committed high up the pitch, Remy was suddenly able to charge into the Chelsea box in the second minute of added time, but fired straight at Kepa.

An overwhelming feeling of relief greeted the final whistle as the Blues claimed only their second win in six matches, escaping from an incredibly competitive and exciting Group H by one point.

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