The Warmdown: Goals from Pulisic and Azpilicueta see Chelsea quieten noisy Lille crowd and book their place in the last eight
Christian Pulisic's goal on the cusp of half-time restored Chelsea's two-goal aggregate advantage (Reuters)

It was a difficult opening 35 minutes or so for the European champions at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday night, however, that quickly changed after USA international Christian Pulisic’s equaliser on the night for Chelsea

Infront of a hostile crowd, Thomas Tuchel’s men got the job done across the channel, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal on 71 minutes booking the Blues’ place in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

Here are the key takeaways… 

A professional performance with a lot of noise behind-the-scenes

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for everyone associated with Chelsea Football Club, with long-standing owner Roman Abramovich putting the club up for sale and the UK government then following up with a sanction on the club.

However, with all the noise in the back, it was another professional performance from those out on the pitch, who controlled the game after Pulisic’s leveller.

It could’ve been very easy for the west London side to turn their attention away from the footballing side of things, with the future of the club still very much in the air.

As it stands, it has been reported that there are up to 13 interested suitors in purchasing the club.

Mason Mount shines bright again

Wednesday night’s victory also marked a momentous night for Mason Mount as the Englishman has now been involved in 100 goals within senior football at just 23-years of age. 

The Cobham graduate has contributed to goals in Chelsea’s last four Champions League knockout games, providing the assist for Kai Havertz in last season’s final as well as netting against Real Madrid in the semi-final and Porto in the quarter-final. 

With a lot of talk consistently surrounding the attacking midfielder, one thing for sure is the Stamford Bridge faithful will be delighted with just how well their star-man is getting on at the club he has been at since the age of six.

Thomas Tuchel’s got them ticking

Although the world champions failed to keep a clean sheet against Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side in the second-leg, the first-leg clean sheet means Tuchel is part of a very exclusive number.

The German boss is one of four managers to reach 10 clean sheets with one club in just 14 games in the Champions League, sharing the record with Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello and Louis van Gaal who have previously all achieved the same honour.

Moreover, since drawing to Brighton on January 18, Chelsea are on a run of 12 games unbeaten, with 11 of those coming as victories and suffering one draw which led to a penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup final loss to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

Although the current Champions League holders could essentially be counted out of the Premier League title race, momentum may just take Chelsea to a third European Cup. 

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