The first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 series between Chelsea and Lille must feel like ages ago for Blues supporters.
A few days after that 2-0 win over Lille on Feb. 22, Russia invaded Ukraine and club owner Roman Abramovich came under scrutiny for his ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime. The UK government eventually sanctioned Abramovich, throwing the team’s daily operations into uncertainty due to restrictions imposed on the Blues as long as they are owned by Abramovich.
But Thomas Tuchel has kept his side going under the circumstances, and the Champions League quarterfinals are within reach for the defending European champs.
Tuchel said he expects Lille to be aggressive at home and, already 2-0 down in the series, the hosts will have nothing to lose. Lille will have to muster more in attack if they’re to catch Chelsea out in this game. The French side looked dangerous at times in the first leg, but were ultimately outclassed by the superior side.
Chelsea needed a late Kai Havertz header to beat Newcastle on the weekend in Premier League action, while Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side could only manage a goalless draw in Ligue 1 at home against struggling Saint Etienne.
Sporting News is following the match live and providing live score updates, commentary.
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Lillie vs. Chelsea live score
LOSC — Yilmaz — 38th min.
(All times Eastern)
38th minute: GOAL!
Yilmaz makes no mistake from the spot! It’s a confident penalty that explodes past Mendy. Chelsea’s aggregate lead is halved, and that’s a major blow for the visitors.
37th minute: Penalty! The referee only needs a moment to decide. It’s a Lille penalty. The Chelsea players aren’t happy and make that clear to the official. If you were being cynical, you’d suggest it’s gamesmanship. We’ll find out whether it affects Yilmaz.
36th minute: It’s all a bit messy. The initial cross is palmed away by Mendy, who can’t hold it. It’s scappy as the ball is put back in a couple of times. Bodies are in the way, limbs are flailing. Lille want a penalty for a Jorginho handball. Chelsea survive for a moment but the referee stops play. VAR is reviewing the penalty shout, and the referee is looking at the pitchside monitor.
35th minute: Chelsea play with ten briefly as Christensen limps off. The physios make it clear that he ca n’t play on, and Trevoh Chalobah is on in his place. Over half an hour gone and Chelsea’s performance would best be described as professional. Lille break forward again and Chalobah is booked almost right away. He gives away a free kick after Jonathan David nutmegs him and gets past. Chalobah pulls him down, wide on the right, edge of the box.
31st min: There’s a stoppage in play as Christensen is down, just before the halfway line. The Chelsea physios are on, and the Danish defender looks like he’ll be coming off.
27th minute: The referee has been a little lenient, but it’s allowing the game to flow well. Still not much in the way of goalmouth action, but the game is finely poised. Lille are still set up aggressively, and you get the feeling that aggression could pay off for them if they play their cards right.
24th minute: Chelsea’s most promising moment of the game so far as Pulisic somehow ends up in the Lille penalty area. He tries a delicate ball through to Havertz, which rolls through into the hands of Grbic. The hosts are managing to find a little more time on the ball now.
22nd minute: As soon as I say that, Jorginho is caught on the ball and Lille counter attack. David finds Yilmaz on the right but Chelsea have numbers back. Yilmaz needs to find the perfect cross to find his strike partner, and he doesn’t manage that.
20th minute: Chelsea feel like they’ve adjusted to the pace of the game a little more now. No clear goalmouth action, but Chelsea are getting their foot on the ball with more regularity.
14th minute: Chelsea get hold of the ball a little more, although a couple of crosses come to nothing. The visitors will know that surviving the first twenty minutes and quelling the crowd will be key to the start of the game, and they’re managing that so far. Christensen has to be alert to stop Gudmundsson getting on the end of a cross.
10th minute: Lille have a free kick just outside the edge of the D, after Lille turnover possession again and Christensen gives away a free kick. There’s a delay before it’s taken. Eventually, Yilmaz opts for power. He fires over in the end. Ten minutes gone, Lille have threatened Chelsea but Mendy hasn’t had too much to do.
8th minute: Lille press well to win the ball back in Chelsea’s third and they have a dangerous counter. Yilmaz’s shot from outside the area hits Thiago Silva and is out for a corner, but it was good intent from the hosts, who are playing with real aggression here.
4th minute: Chelsea get the ball forward. Havertz runs at Botman, but the defender gets the better of him, and it’s a Lille goal kick. Yilmaz is caught by Azpilicueta as the ball goes out for a throw in. The Chelsea skipper caught him on the ankle with a late follow through.
2nd minute: A loud start. Chelsea pass the ball around, but the first minute ends with Gudmundsson winning a corner on the left, to loud cheers. Kai Havedrtz heads away. The ball is put back in by Fonte, but Mendy gathers.
3:59 p.m.: The home fans are certainly looking to do their part before kick off. Cesar Azpilicueta is back in the side and leads the team out to a vibrant stadium. Large banners rise in front of the crowd, and a few flares dot the stadium. It’s time for that famous anthem now.
3:55 p.m.: Five minutes to go till kick off and there’s a healthy atmosphere in the ground. The home side will need to use that to their advantage if they’re going to overturn their deficit from the first leg.
3:29 p.m.: It looks like Chelsea will be lining up with a 3-5-2. Thomas Tuchel commented that he’s expected Lille’s shape to be aggressive, and it suggests the visitors will be looking to take the sting out of the game. Marcos Alonso makes his 200th appearance for the West London side, and he’ll be hoping for a positive result to mark the occasion.
3:01 p.m.: The Chelsea team news is also in. As expected, Alonso and Azpilicueta return to the side.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 16, 2022
2:57 p.m.: The Lille team is out. As expected, Renato Sanches doesn’t feature. It looks like Burak Yilmaz will partner Jonathan David up front.
— LOSC (@losclive) March 16, 2022
2:55 p.m.: For their sake, let’s hope that Lille show more imagination in attack tonight than they did when they named their mascot.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 16, 2022
2:40 p.m.: There were concerns about Chelsea’s ability to spend money on travel arrangements given a government-imposed travel expense cap as part of the sanctions against Abramovich. Well, here’s video evidence that the club is bussing it to the stadium in Lille:
Chelsea are on their way to the Stade Pierre Mauroy as they prepare to face Lille tonight. pic.twitter.com/BWroXN5Dpu
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) March 16, 2022
Lille vs. chelsea lineups
The main absence for Lille is Renato Sanches, who is expected to miss out with injury. He was responsible for several bright moments in the first leg, and will be a massive absence.
Lille starting lineup (3-5-2, left to right): Jardim (GK) — Djalo, Botman, Fonte, Celik — Gudmundsson, Andre, Xeka, Bamba — David, Yilmaz
Lille subs (9): Grbic, Raux, Ben Arfa, Lihadji, Gomes, Weah, Zhegrova, Onana, Bradaric
Ben Chilwell is the only Chelsea player who is certain to miss out with a long-term injury absence. Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi are injury doubts, and their fitness will have to be assessed in the lead-up to kickoff, but Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are expected to be back in contention.
Chelsea starting lineup (3-5-2, left to right): Mendy (GK) — Rudiger, SIlva, Christensen — Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Azpilicueta — Pulisic, Havertz
Chelsea subs (11): Kepa, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Sarr, Kenedy, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Vale, Ziyech, Werner, Lukaku
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How to watch Lille vs. Chelsea
- Date: Wed., March 16
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- USA TV channel: galavision
- US streaming: fubo TV, Paramount +
- Canadian streaming: DAZN
In the USA, the game will be carried by Galavision (Spanish) which is streamed on fuboTV, available to new subscribers on a free trial. The match is also streamed on Paramount+ for subscribers.
In Canada, all UEFA Champions League matches are available exclusively live and on demand on DAZN.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism