FOOTBALL UEFA Champions League

Champions League Recap: Chelsea distract from ownership fallout to progress, Villarreal upset Juventus

Champions League holders Chelsea are into the quarter finals following a 2-1 win against Lille, amid uncertainty over the teams long term future.

Holding a 2-0 lead going into the match, Chelsea were heavy favourites to progress past the reigning Ligue 1 champions, but it seemed to take them a while to realise.

The French side struck first, with Burak Yilmaz converting from the penalty spot after Jorginho handled in the box late in the half, but the lead wouldn’t last for long.

Deep into injury time in the first half, the Italian was able to redeem his earlier error, finding Christian Pulisic in space, who duly converted to level proceedings, before Cesar Azpilicueta’s finish at the back post in the second half put the game to bed.

But the celebrations didn’t last long for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who received an unwelcomed update that due to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich the forthcoming home leg of the match will have to be played behind closed doors, much to the manager’s disappointment.

Fan Reaction

Mason Mount secured the match winner with his assist for Azpilicueta’s goal, with the home-grown talent still making his presence known for the club.

Pulisic helped settle a lot of nerves with his effort late in the first half, and will be a big relief for “Captain America” who has suffered a difficult season so far, struggling for consistent game time.

If Thomas Tuchel wasn’t already a fan favourite before recent events, then his reaction to the club’s sanctions and his ability to maintain the team’s form despite this has cemented it, with Joe Cole full of praise for the German.

Juventus 0 Villarreal 3

Elsewhere in the Champions League, Villarreal was able to complete a late upset against Juventus, scoring three goals in the last 15 minutes to knock out the Turin based club.

Juventus were heavy favourites going into the match and were in control of the match, with Villarreal not having a shot on target until late in the second half, but they were unable to craft any strong chances for themselves and were duly punished.

Two late penalties taken by Gerard Moreno and Arnard Danjuma, along with a header from Pau Torres put the game to rest, sending manager Unai Emery into the quarter finals of the competition for the first time.

The result means that The Old Lady has been knocked out of the round of 16 for the third successive season, and currently sit fourth in Serie A.

Fan Reaction

With Juventus being one of the three teams still trying to push forward the European Super League, alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid, many are poking fun at this following their recent struggles in the Champions League.

And it’s clear to see how much the result means to the Villarreal players as well.

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