Chelsea made it into the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Lille at Stamford Bridge, but they almost made a mess of what looked to be a comfortable night’s work.
Frank Lampard’s side needed a win to guarantee progression to the last 16 and they got just that, but it was not without a nervy ending in west London.
Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta gave the Blues a 2-0 lead at half-time and they looked in complete control until the final 15 minutes when their former player Loic Remy got on the score sheet for Lille.
It made for a nerve-shredding ending for Chelsea fans, but they did enough to get over the line and into Monday’s draw for the last 16.
The first half could not have been more comfortable for Chelsea as they strolled to a two-goal lead at the break.
The visitors offered almost nothing going forward and they were not standing too firm at the back either as Tammy Abraham opened the scoring 19 minutes in.
The England international tapped in from inside the six-yard box after good work from Willian on the right of the penalty area before driving the ball across goal.
It was a less likely scorer of the second goal as Azpilicueta nodded in from a corner at the near post after 35 minutes.
Willian again claimed the assist as the Brazilian whipped it in and the Spaniard had it very easy, unmarked to flick home.
It all looked incredibly straightforward for Lampard’s side and the second period appeared to be nothing but a formality, that was until the last 15 minutes when Lille found some verve from nowhere.
Perhaps it was complacency from the Blues or perhaps the French side they had nothing to lose as they went on the attack and former Blues striker Loic Remy found the back of the net with 12 minutes to go.
Jonathan Bamba got to the byline and picked out Remy 12 yards out, with the Frenchman crashing the ball off the underside of the bar with an emphatic finish.
Suddenly things were nervy for the home side, but they managed to regain control and limit Lille to little more possession.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi had a couple of good chances to put the game to bed for Chelsea but fluffed them.
Remy had one more good chance for the away side, bursting forward with the Chelsea defence inexplicably absent, but he could only manage a tame shot straight at Kepa.