Lille takes a lesson on the field of Chelsea in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League
The game: 2-0
Despite its good intentions, the gang of Jonathan David was not mature enough to bring down Goliath. Faced with a Chelsea team sure of its strength, technically superior and with each increase in intensity, Lille did not have time to deceive at Stamford Bridge. Quickly led, for their second experience at this stage of the competition after that of 2007 against Manchester United (0-1, 0-1), LOSC left London with a lesson-like defeat (0-2). It seems hard to believe in a feat on the return to the Pierre-Mauroy stadium on March 16.
Wishing to minimize Chelsea’s dominance in the use of the ball, Jocelyn Gourvennec opted for a rather defensive scheme, aligning Amadou Onana in a number 10 position, to densify his midfield. Immediately put under pressure by the heavy pressing of the Blues, his team however did not have time to make their mark. The talent of Kai Havertz (see below), author of the opener in the 8th minute, put Chelsea in the lead, and behind, Thomas Tuchel’s players seemed to play their hand all along, changing rhythm when they had decided.
Lille initiated some interesting sequences, but never really upset the impeccable base of the Blues to put themselves in a good position, as evidenced by the only small shot on target (that of Benjamin André easily captured by Edouard Mendy in the 40th) for nine attempted at the break. The physiognomy was the same afterwards. Twirling, Renato Sanches has once again proven that he has his place in the team of a great European player. But the little Portuguese bull was too alone against the London armada, impervious to outings on injuries from Mateo Kovacic (51st) and Hakim Ziyech (60th) because guided by a once again stunning N’Golo Kanté.
N’Golo Kanté has delivered three assists in his last six appearances for the Blues.
Chelsea seemed to save their strength before the break, and the French world champion was the major particle of the new accelerator when they returned from the locker room. On an ultra-fast counter, it was he who slipped the ball towards Christian Pulisic, author of the break (61st). Despite clearly favorable possession, Lille were never able to unbalance Chelsea, with difficulty in innovating in the outings of the balls. Above all, LOSC took a lesson in realism from the best teacher in the field.