Although Lille qualified as the group winner for the round of 16 of the Champions League, they were strangers in a duel against Chelsea. OSC coach Jocelyn Jorvinek used a 4-3-3 system with top scorer Jonathan David in attack against the English alongside former Munich Renato Sanchez.
The Champions League winner played 3-4-3 with Germany international Antonio Rudiger and Kai Havertz in the starting line-up, only Timo Werner on the bench – as was star striker Romelu Lukaku, who is currently in the slump. .
Chelsea pressed them from the start and was very present in the penalty area, especially in the personality of Havertz. In the fifth minute, Cesar Azpilicueta brought the ball sharply from the right and Havertz shot over the goal from a distance of six yards. Shortly thereafter he failed with a 15-meter shot at OSC goalkeeper Leo who saved the (seventh) corner.
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The standard that followed gave the blues an early lead. The ball flew from the left to the first post, Havertz ran in time, headed from six meters and turned the ball into the goal with an untenable rebound under the crossbar (8′).
Lille was not shocked by the early helplessness and retreated. Sanches has always been an asset, repeatedly launching attacks by the French on both flanks and in the center. However, Lille had problems in the final third of the attack, and Chelsea showed very good interventions in a tight space.
In the middle of a period of pressure from the French, the Blues scored the second important goal in the second half. N’Golo Kanté pressed through the middle and kept the ball just outside the penalty area and played to Christian Pulisic on the left. The former Dortmunder approached Léo alone, keeping his cool and turning a flat shot from nine meters into the right corner (63′).
Lille never recovered from 0-2 behind, Chelsea lost the match in a sovereign fashion, thus they are also the favorites in the second leg for a place in the quarter-finals. It was a deserved 2-0 win for the Blues, who didn’t see Lukaku play as the match progressed.
Kai Havertz (Chelsea): “We knew it was going to be a tough game. They played good football and the first half was very difficult for us. The time has come and we have to win the next game.”
Jose Fonte (OSC Lille): “At this level, you can’t give up balls because opponents don’t give them away those chances. We were in the match, we had chances, but you also have to score. We have to be more effective and more aggressive. .They had two chances and they used.”
Tweet about the game:
Pulisic was one of the strongest players in the game.
Who caught the eye: the man of success
It cost Havertz 80 million euros in the summer of 2020, and a year and a half later – it’s worth every euro. The 22-year-old is a success man in the blues and already irreplaceable at a young age. His colleagues are actively looking for him because he has outstanding qualities. Once again, Havertz showed his skills in the Champions League and put his colors on the path to victory over Lille.
Havertz is a striker at the big moments both nationally and internationally. He was a champion in the Champions League final, in the Club World Cup, and was a Blues match factor for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. Also – and this is important – Havertz is in the attacking position, while Lukaku is currently only on the bench.
The Blues are the kings of set-pieces this season. In the first division, Chelsea have already scored four goals from corner kicks. No other team has scored more.
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