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Chelsea into Champions League last 16 by beating Lille 2-1

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON (AP) Tammy Abraham’s backheeled flick set Chelsea on its way to a 2-1 victory over Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday, becoming the fourth English team in the knockout phase.

Christian Pulisic laid the ball off to the right flank where Willian crossed for Abraham to net his 13th goal of the season in all competitions with a slick finish in the 19th minute.

Overwhelming the French visitors, Chelsea extended its lead in the 35th when Cesar Azpilicueta evaded the defense to dart into the penalty area and meet Emerson Palmieri’s corner with a header

Mounting its first meaningful attack after 77 minutes at Stamford Bridge, Lille ensured it would be an anxious conclusion for Chelsea thanks to a familiar face. Loic Remy, a Chelsea striker from 2014 to 2017, swept in a shot off the underside of the crossbar.

Chelsea secured its passage as Group H runner-up to join Premier League rivals Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in the round of 16. Frank Lampard is the first English manager since his uncle, Harry Redknapp, to qualify a team from the group phase.

But Lille exited Europe with a single point while Valencia advanced as group winners by winning 1-0 at Ajax.

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Updated December 10, 2019

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