Chelsea 2-1 Lille: Blues book Champions League last-16 berth

Chelsea completed the job against Lille as Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta sent the Blues through to the Champions League's last 16.

Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring for Chelsea   -  Getty Images

Chelsea moved through to the Champions League knockout stage with a 2-1 win over a largely compliant Lille side at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta scored first-half goals as Frank Lampard's men bounced back from their weekend defeat to Everton by sewing up second spot in Group H.

The host knew three points would confirm its place in the last 16 and encountered little resistance until former Chelsea forward Loic Remy netted a 78th-minute consolation for the bottom-placed French side.

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Valencia's victory over Ajax in Amsterdam denied Chelsea top spot, but Lampard will be satisfied after becoming the first Englishman to oversee the entirety of a successful group-stage campaign since Harry Redknapp, his uncle, did so with Tottenham in 2010-11.

Chelsea almost scored three times, with Christian Pulisic and Emerson Palmieri threatening, before Abraham notched his second European goal in the 19th minute.

Willian darted past Lille left-back Jeremy Pied and squared for the unmarked striker to apply a simple finish. The lively Emerson tested Mike Maignan a second time and then supplied the corner that Azpilicueta headed home 10 minutes before half-time.

Maignan needed attention following a collision with Kurt Zouma but his good form continued with a double save from Pulisic and Willian upon the resumption. The 24-year-old goalkeeper was eventually forced from the field with an ice pack applied to his knee in the 72nd minute.

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Leo Jardim, Maignan's replacement, saved from Mateo Kovacic, and it was at the other end that the next goal arrived, Remy firing in after substitute Jonathan Bamba found space in the box.

It proved a minor hiccup for Chelsea, which held its nerve en route to a first Champions League home win in six matches.
What does it mean? Blues a threat to Champions League challengers

Chelsea will find it tougher against more qualified opponents in the next round but the team that draws them is unlikely to relish the challenge. Willian, Abraham and Pulisic can be a real handful going forward, while Antonio Rudiger's return from a lengthy groin injury brought stability at the back.

Creative Willian leads way for Chelsea

No player has more assists in European competitions since the start of last season than Willian, who registered an eighth when he set up Abraham and was deserving of a goal himself.

Maia goes missing for Lille

Lille lost the battle in midfield, giving up almost 65 per cent of possession, and got little help from Thiago Maia, an ineffectual figure as he lost each of his six duels and completed just six passes in over an hour on the pitch.

Key Opta Facts

- Chelsea has now progressed to the knockout stages in 15 of its 16 Champions League participations, failing only in 2012-13.
- Lille earned just one point in the group stages this season, drawing once and losing five times – it is the side's worst ever return in a Champions League group stage.
- Cesar Azpilicueta has scored two goals in his past three Champions League games, more than he had in his first 46 appearances in the competition (one).
- Loic Remy became the seventh player to score for and against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League, after Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, Diego Costa, Michael Ballack, David Luiz and Willian.

What's next?

Chelsea will host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, while Lille must regroup ahead of its Ligue 1 meeting with Montpellier.

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