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Champions League group stage recap: Chelsea defence going well

The UEFA Champions League holders made it to the last 16 with minimum fuss.

All of Chelsea's group stage goals

Thomas Tuchel's side let first place in their group slip from their grasp at the last, but comfortably did enough to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout stage, where they meet French side LOSC Lille.

Round of 16: Chelsea vs LOSC

Campaign so far

Chelsea's group stage story

Group H runners-up: W4 D1 L1 F13 A4
Top scorer: Timo Werner (3)

14/09: Chelsea 1-0 Zenit (Lukaku 69)
29/09: Juventus 1-0 Chelsea (Chiesa 46)
20/10: Chelsea 4-0 Malmö (Christensen 9, Jorginho 27p 57p, Havertz 48)
02/11
: Malmö 0-1 Chelsea (Ziyech 56)
23/11: Chelsea 4-0 Juventus (Chalobah 25, James 56, Hudson-Odoi 58, Werner 90+5)
08/12: Zenit 3-3 Chelsea (Claudinho 38, Azmoun 41, Ozdoev 90+4; Werner 2 85, Lukaku 62)

Campaign in ten words: Defensively outstanding with the attacking variety to challenge the best.

UEFA.com reporter's view

This is some team. Everything Thomas Tuchel touches seems to turn to gold and his side have once again been a joy to watch. However, having let slip first place in Group H in the final seconds of Matchday 6, Chelsea will need to rediscover the ruthlessly efficiency they showed last season's knockout phase. It will still take something special to stop them.

What we’ve learned

Despite that late setback at Zenit, Tuchel's side do not like drama; when things are going well, they tend to control games and invariably pick teams off. Tellingly, they were one of the least fouled sides in the group stage (just 48 offences against them) and only eliminated Shakhtar picked up as few bookings (seven).

Fantasy star performers

Highlights: Chelsea 4-0 Juventus

Andreas Christensen – 39 points
Jorginho – 37 points
Antonio Rüdiger – 33 points

Squad changes

In: Kenedy
Out: Lewis Baker

Clubs could register a maximum of three new eligible players prior to the knockout stage. Since 2018/19, it no longer matters whether those players have already played in the competition for another club, even for another club still in the competition.

Key stats

• The Blues had conceded just three goals in 12 Champions League games since Tuchel's arrival before their 3-3 draw with Zenit on Matchday 6.

• Chelsea averaged 62.5% possession across their six Group H games, the highest percentage of any side in the group stage.

• Only Real Madrid (3627) completed more passes in this season's competition than Chelsea (3546).