Chelsea vs Lille player ratings: Pulisic 9, Havertz 8; David 5, Sanches 7

Chelsea take 2-0 lead into Champions League last 16 second leg against French side

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Goals in each half from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic earned defending champions Chelsea a solid 2-0 first-leg victory over Lille in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, but the London side will be concerned about injuries to key players.

Germany forward Havertz, who had already had two attempts on goal early in the game, headed down a Hakim Ziyech corner in the eighth minute and the ball bounced high off the turf into the net.

Chelsea left struggling striker Romelu Lukaku on the bench and it was American Pulisic who hit the second in the 63rd minute with a curling finish after N'Golo Kante's surging run and pinpoint pass.

The action was at times frenetic as Ligue 1 champions Lille sought to take something from the game into the second leg at home on March 16.

Chelsea, who face Liverpool in the League Cup final on Sunday, may be satisfied with their two-goal lead in the tie but they will be concerned for the fitness of pivotal midfielder Mateo Kovacic and of in-form Ziyech who both limped off early in the second half.

Tuchel admitted he was not sure of the extent of injuries to Mateo Kovacic and Ziyech ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool at Wembley.

“I should have substituted Kovacic earlier at half-time, so could have had one more change. I did not see Hakim’s injury, I have not spoken to the doctor. I hope it is not too much, but it is a little bit the story of the season [with injuries]," Tuchel told BT Sport.

“Today is Tuesday, until Sunday it is good because there are a lot of days for us to recover, so we will take care of that.

“We don’t like to have that many injuries and would like to have more impact from the bench in a tactical matter, but it is what it is.

“Let’s see, I hope the guys will be ready for Sunday.”

Tuchel's side are on an exhausting run of games with matches this month played or scheduled in five competitions.

They won the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi 11 days ago and injured trio Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi paraded the trophy round Stamford Bridge before kickoff.

They also won games in the FA Cup and Premier League before Tuesday's game and Sunday's final at Wembley.

Updated: February 23, 2022, 3:55 AM
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