Soccer·Roundup

Chelsea tops Lille as Juventus-Villareal play to draw in Champions League round of 16

Chelsea resumed its Champions League title defense by cruising to a 2-0 victory over Lille on Tuesday to take control of the round of 16 matchup. Meanwhile, Dusan Vlahovic scored 31 seconds into his Champions League debut as Juventus drew 1-1 at Villarreal.

Dusan Vlahovic scores 31 seconds into European debut for Juventus

Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring during a 2-0 win over Lille OSC on Tuesday. (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Chelsea could rely on Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz for goals with misfiring Romelu Lukaku rested.

The London club resumed its Champions League title defence by cruising to a 2-0 victory over Lille on Tuesday to take control of the round of 16 matchup.

Havertz took only eight minutes to head Chelsea in front by meeting Hakim Ziyech's corner.

Christian Pulisic latched onto N'Golo Kante's pass with a clipped effort in the 63rd minute to ensure Chelsea has a two-goal cushion to take into the second leg next month in France.

The ease of Chelsea's victory reflected their status this season. While Chelsea is third in the Premier League, Lille is mid-table in its French title defence.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said fatigue was the reason for leaving out Lukaku, the club-record $135 million US offseason signing who touched the ball only seven times in Saturday's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. Lukaku didn't come off the bench against Lille.

"He looked a little exhausted and you have to consider that he's played a lot," Tuchel said.

Vlahovic scores in European debut

Dusan Vlahovic scored 31 seconds into his Champions League debut as Juventus drew 1-1 at Villarreal in the opening match of their round-of-16 tie on Tuesday.

Dani Parejo leveled for Villarreal in the 66th minute, leaving the playoff poised for the decider in Italy.

Vlahovic showed why Juventus picked him to provide the goals it had been missing since the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo when he scored a superb goal on his first contact with the ball just moments after kickoff.

After using his chest to control a long pass from Danilo, the 22-year-old Serbia striker did not hesitate to immediately take on centreback pair Pau Torres and Raul Albiol. He used one touch to prepare his shot taken with his weaker right foot while he spun toward the goal. The low effort grazed the foot of a defender before squirting in at an angle past goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

It was his second goal with Juventus since the team secured his 70 million euro ($80 million) transfer from Fiorentina near the end of the January transfer window.

Vlahovic almost conjured up the winner with five minutes remaining with a powerful shot that Rulli did well to stop.

United States midfielder Weston McKennie had to be substituted for Juventus in the 80th after he received a hard tackle into his lower left leg by substitute Pervis Estupinan.

The second leg will be played in Turin on March 16. The away-goals rule for the playoffs has been eliminated this season.

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