Wednesday 16 October 2019

Willian and Abraham land big blow for Chelsea

Lille 1 Chelsea 2

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham celebrates. Photo: Getty Images
Chelsea's Tammy Abraham celebrates. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Tammy Abraham grabbed a birthday goal and Willian marked his 300th Chelsea appearance with the second as Chelsea won 2-1 in Lille.

Abraham, expected to earn an England call-up today, registered his first Champions League goal before Lille equalised through their own exciting young striker, Victor Osimhen.

Chelsea's Jorginho vies with Lille's Reinildo Mandava. Photo: Getty Images
Chelsea's Jorginho vies with Lille's Reinildo Mandava. Photo: Getty Images

But Willian's late volley secured a crucial first three points for Frank Lampard's side in Group H.

Lampard had played down the significance of this match, but after dropping all three points to Valencia at home two weeks ago, and with a trip to to Ajax next up, the margin for error would have got a lot smaller without a victory.

Lampard was able to recall a fit-again N'Golo Kante but there was no place in the squad for Ross Barkley following his Sunday night row with a taxi driver in Liverpool.

Much has been made of Chelsea's lack of experience - Lampard had four academy graduates in his side - but Lille's average age was less than 24.

Frank Lampard. Photo: Getty Images
Frank Lampard. Photo: Getty Images

Abraham celebrated his 22nd birthday with a goal in the 22nd minute after Marcos Alonso, in an advanced position down the left, laid the ball back to Fikayo Tomori.

The young defender launched it into the area where Abraham, just onside, was able to control the ball, spin and place it beyond Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Stung into action, Lille looked to hit back straight away and Kepa had to get down low to his right to claw out a curling effort from Luiz Araujo.

Unmarked Osimhen headed in at the far post from a corner to equalise on 33 minutes.

Chelsea hit their winner when substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi got free down the left and lifted the ball towards the far post, Willian striking a volley into the ground and over Maignan.

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