Chelsea have secured their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory against Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, giving them a 4-1 win on aggregate.
Chelsea, operating on a special license from the British government that has limited their spending and impacted their operations, showed great composure to ease into the last eight.
Chelsea’s tumultuous preparations for their second leg at Lille were perhaps best exemplified by the fact there was some doubt about whether the team would even be able to travel to northern France for the match.
They travelled (as did their supporters) and despite suffering a scare when Burak Yılmaz put Lille ahead from the penalty spot, Thomas Tuchel’s side ultimately showed why they’re champions of Europe with an assured performance to finish the job.
The turning point in the second leg was Christian Pulisic’s well-taken goal in first half stoppage time, and after also scoring in the first leg, it feels like we might be witnessing the 23-year-old’s coming of age as a Chelsea player.
Pulisic was once again partnered by Kai Havertz in attack and it’s turning into a winning formula for the Blues which could well lead them, in spite of everything, to more European glory this season.
Chelsea were far more ruthless and after 71 minutes, Mason Mount’s cross bounced off Azpilicueta’s knee into the top corner to end Lille’s hopes of reaching the last eight.