Embattled Chelsea beat Lille to reach CL quarters

AP , Thursday 17 Mar 2022

Much remains uncertain about Chelsea's future, but for now the reigning champion is through to the Champions League quarterfinals.

Chelsea s Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (C) celebrates after scoring his team s second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Lille (LOSC) and Chelsea (AFP)

U.S. international Christian Pulisic converted one of Chelsea's rare chances and Cesar Azpilicueta added another goal Wednesday to help the embattled Premier League club progress with a 2-1 win at Lille, and 4-1 on aggregate.

Chelsea, whose future has been left in doubt after Britain and the European Union froze the assets of owner Roman Abramovich, did not create much but was clinical against the French league champion.

Pulisic canceled out a penalty from Burak Ylmaz with a goal at the stroke of halftime and Azpilicueta scored the winner in the 71st minute.

Chelsea had won the opening leg 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last month.

Abramovich's assets were frozen after he was sanctioned over his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Under the British government action, Chelsea will operate through the end of this season with a special license that among other restrictions prohibits the team from selling new tickets or merchandise, or signing new players.

Abramovich, whose $2 billion investment in Chelsea over 19 years transformed the team into a force in European soccer, had put the club up for sale even before those measures were announced, amid growing calls for his name to be added to the list of sanctioned oligarchs.

The owners of the Chicago Cubs said Wednesday that they will make a bid to buy the Premier League club.

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