Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic put Chelsea in command of their Champions League last-16 tie in opposition to Lille with a 2-0 win, however Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech went off injured.
Regardless of Romelu Lukaku being dropped to the bench after a dismal displaying in opposition to Crystal Palace on Saturday, Chelsea wanted simply eight minutes to seek out the online by means of Havertz.
The reigning champions noticed in-form duo Kovacic and Ziyech hobble off earlier than the hour mark, casting doubt over their possibilities of that includes within the EFL Cup remaining in opposition to Liverpool on Sunday.
Pulisic completed off a fast break after 63 minutes to safe a robust first-leg lead for Thomas Tuchel’s facet, with the return leg to return in France subsequent month.
Havertz wasted little time in making his mark because the central striker, nodding residence from Ziyech’s nook after failing to take a few early possibilities.
Antonio Rudiger nearly turned a Renato Sanches cross into his personal web and Lille threatened with a flurry of possibilities from the ensuing nook as they began to get a foothold within the sport.
Chelsea have been dealt a blow once they misplaced Kovacic and Ziyech in fast succession early within the second half, however they doubled their benefit within the 63rd minute.
N’Golo Kante surged ahead from contained in the Chelsea half and fed Pulisic for a pleasant dink over the onrushing Leo Jardim and into the bottom-right nook.
Lille tried to scale back the arrears with a push for a late purpose, however Edouard Mendy was by no means actually examined and Chelsea remained in command of the tie.
What does it imply? Benefit Chelsea
The Blues have been all the time going to be the favourites on this match-up they usually acquired the win that was anticipated of them regardless of being removed from dominant.
Chelsea have a very good report when profitable the primary leg of a Champions League tie; in the 11 events they’ve gained the opening encounter, they’ve reached the following spherical 9 occasions.
Nevertheless, the 2 exits adopted first-leg victories at Stamford Bridge in opposition to Barcelona in 1999-2000 and Liverpool in 2006-07.
No room for Romelu
Lukaku was dropped after having simply seven touches throughout 90 minutes on the weekend. Havertz wanted simply 5 to have three makes an attempt on purpose and discover the online with the final of them, displaying he’s greater than able to being a potent menace by means of the center.
Sanches shines in defeat
Sanches proved he has come a good distance as he returned to the bottom the place he infamously handed to a brand on an promoting board, which he had mistaken for a team-mate throughout an underwhelming mortgage spell at Swansea Metropolis in 2017. He bossed the midfield within the first half and performed some beautiful passes.
Chelsea face Liverpool within the EFL Cup remaining at Wembley on Sunday, when Lille journey to Lyon in Ligue 1.