UEFA Champions League: Chelsea becomes first Premier League club to qualify for the Round of 16

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Chelsea football club is the first Premier League club to qualify for the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League round of 16 after defeating Rennes 2-1 tonight, November 24.

The Blues made it to the next round with two games left to play. They are currently topping the Champions League group E with 10 points in 4 games. They have equal points with Sevilla but ahead of the Spanish club due to superior goals difference.

Since the Champions League campaign started, Chelsea have won three games and drawn once. They are yet to lose any match so far and if they do in their two subsequent Champions League matches, it won’t affect their qualification to the knockout round.

The only thing left for Frank Lampard’s led Chelsea team to do is to battle for the first spot which is necessary to avoid playing against a tougher opposition if they drop to the second spot.

Besides Sevilla that is competing with Chelsea in the group, the other two teams, Krasnodar and Rennes, have nothing to offer in the campaign. The two teams have failed to win any game so far in the campaign. Even when they played against each other, it ended in a draw. Hence, they are occupying the 3rd and the 4th spots respectively with a point each.

Now that Chelsea have qualified for the round of 16, the next Premier League teams that are expected to join them are Liverpool and Manchester City, if they win their Champions League matches on Wednesday.

As at the time of publishing this report, Manchester United was beating Istanbul Basaksehir 3-0. If the match ends that way, United will lead Champions League group H with 9 points in 4 games.

Chelsea vs Rennes: How Olivier Giroud sealed the victory

Chelsea becomes first Premier League club to qualify for the Round of 16
Olivier Giroud celebrates his winning goal with his teammates.

Rennes played like they hosted Chelsea to get at least a point from the match. Chelsea started to show prowess very early in the match which led to the game’s first goal.

English youngster, Callum Hudson-Odoi was the first man on the pitch to find the back of the net for Chelsea. His goal came in the 21st minute of the game. After the goal, Chelsea continued to push for more goals but all their chances ended up going off target.

After the 85th minute of play, the host succeeded in equalizing through Serhou Guirassy who scored a header which Chelsea’s defenders would have prevented if the Rennes’ star was marked when the French club played a corner.

The goal looked like the end of the game and a one-point gift for Rennes, but coach Frank Lampard’s decision to substitute Tammy Abraham in the 69th minute for Olivier Giroud paid off in injury-time.

The France international who has just played 127 minutes of football for Chelsea so far in the 2020-2021 season, headed in the club’s second goal of the match which was enough to earn them the three maximum points.

Chelsea’s next Champions League match is against Krasnodar and it is scheduled for December 8.