Chelsea ownership uncertainty and EU sanctions overshadow Pulisic’s big Champions League night vs. Lille OSC


Chelsea marched on in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday with a 2-1 win away at Lille OSC, confirming the titleholders’ quarterfinal berth with a 4-1 aggregate success, but the result has taken a backseat as news over the Blues’ immediate future remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta goals saw Thomas Tuchel’s men come from 1-0 down after Burak Yilmaz’s first-half penalty opener at Stade Pierre Mauroy and attention immediately turned back to Roman Abramovich’s sale of the club after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea have been embroiled in controversy this week after requesting that their FA Cup clash with Middlesbrough be played behind closed doors to maintain “sporting integrity” with ticket sales prohibited due to Abramovich’s sanctions which was rightly ridiculed.

The Premier League giants swiftly withdrew that request and despite speculation over the team’s ability to reach Lille for their Champions League clash, whether it would go ahead at all and Three’s continued attempts to have their name removed from the team’s shirts, they have weathered those storms to reach the final eight.

What happens next remains to be seen with Chelsea now expected to be ordered to play all matches behind closed doors, including their continental games, until their future is sorted out with the deadline for offers at the end of this week.

UEFA said earlier on Wednesday that they are seeking European Union clarification regarding future Champions League fixtures due to Abramovich’s sanctions.

None of this dispels the fears for the west London club if a deal is not struck before the end of the season in May with bankruptcy still a possibility if the takeover process continues to drag due to the myriad of political and legal complications.

Despite all of this, Chelsea still shows no signs of letting off-field uncertainty spill over into their performances with a fifth consecutive win across all competitions which required a fight back from a goal down after Yilmaz struck first for Les Dogues with a 38th minute penalty given for Jorginho’s handball.

Tuchel’s side did not need long to respond as the Italy international teed up Pulisic to tally in both legs for a halftime stalemate before Mason Mount provided for Azpilicueta to do the remaining damage 19 minutes from time as the French champions bid farewell.

Perhaps Jocelyn Gourvennec and his Renato Sanches-less squad were hoping that the external pressure would finally tell with Chelsea but there was no cracking and they will head to the Riverside Stadium to continue their FA Cup run before the post-internationals Premier League resumption.

The latest developments, which arrived mid-match in Lille, are that Lord Sebastian Coe is now involved as part of a consortium led by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton and ex-player Gianluca Vialli is part of Nick Candy’s bid as the Ricketts family which owns Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball also circle.





Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.