Frank Lampard enjoyed his first victory in the Champions League as a manager after Tammy Abraham and William helped the Blues to a 2-1 win despite Victor Osimhen scoring for the hosts.
Tammy Abraham opened the scoring for Chelsea, his eighth goal of the season, but Osimhen proved to be just as hot as his compatriot by netting the equalizer but William rose to decide the match in Chelsea’s favour late on.
Prior to kick off, the two sides had never met in the Champions League and with Lille not enjoying a good run against the only English team they had ever faced -Manchester United – it was always going to be a difficult one to win for the hosts.
Lille boss Christophe Gaultier made two changes from his side’s 1-1 draw away to Nice in Ligue 1 last weekend, with Celik and Ikone replacing Pied and Yazici. Former Chelsea man, Loic Remy could only make the bench.
On the other hand, Frank Lampard switched to a 3-4-3 after his men’s 2-0 win over Brighton, making three changes. Zouma, Kante and James all came in, while Giroud recovered enough from illness to make the bench.
Chelsea had the better of the early proceedings and it was no surprise when the Blues took the lead through Abraham.
Fikayo Tomori curled an excellent ball into the box over the top of all the Lille defenders only for Abraham to coolly take it down and finish past Maignan in goal. It was a special night for the young Anglo-Nigerian who turned 22 today, becoming just the second Englishman to score on his birthday in the Champions League since Raheem Sterling, who did so for Man City in 2015.
Tammy Abraham (22) 🏴 scores his first Champions League goal for Chelsea versus Lillepic.twitter.com/ZovDVcYWYd
— WünderkinderFootball (@WunderkindFB) October 2, 2019
Eleven minutes later, though and that lead was no more when Osimhen scored after a positive five minute spell for Lille.
Lille earned a corner off Alonso and from Bamba’s fine delivery, Osimhen rose high at the far post above Tomori and Zouma to nod the ball past Kepa into the net.
It was nothing less than Les Dogues deserved after reacting beautifully to going behind.
Chelsea returned after the break fired up, though, cranking up the pressure as chance after chance went begging with Mount, William and Alonso guilty of wastefulness.
However, Chelsea’s extra quality showed through soon when, with only a quarter of an hour left, Willian restored the Blues lead.
Substitute Hudson-Odoi made the goal as he left Celik for dust near the corner flag and floated a magnificent ball across for Willian. The Brazilian then thumped a volley into the ground at the far post and over the despairing Maignan into the net as Lampard pumpsed his fists in celebration.
As the end approached, Lille worked hard to force their way back into the game but Chelsea did well enough despite a few scares to keep the home side at bay and earn their first points of this season’s European campaign.