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Al Hilal v Chelsea Live Commentary, 09/02/2022

0 - 1
R. Lukaku (32)
Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium


That's all from us, we hope you enjoyed the game. Until the next one, goodbye!
With that slender victory, the West London side progress into the final of the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time in their history. They'll be out to avenge the demons of 2012 and win their first ever title in three days time; whilst Al-Hilal head out of the competition at the penultimate stage for the second time in three seasons.
As Al-Hilal put the pressure on in the second half, Andreas Christensen stood tall to ensure Chelsea's rearguard was not breached. Three tackles and two interceptions, as well as a game-high eight duels won in the air and 12 on the floor, the Dane produced further evidence that he should be an ever-present in Thomas Tuchel's starting 11.
That's that, and Chelsea hang on to secure their passage into the final of the Club World Cup. That second half provided them with some real scares as Al-Hilal drew numerous saves from Kepa, however the European Champions managed to keep out the AFC champions to progress! The final will provide another tough test of the Chelsea players, who, going on that second half performance, will need to really step up if they're to prevent a repeat of the 2012 final.
90' + 1' Christensen has had Ighalo covered all game, but this time he's a bit too close as he practically rugby tackles the striker to the floor and doesn't get carded!
90' We'll play three more minutes of added time at the end of this pulsating match!
89' A cross from the right by Azpilicueta again ghosts over the heads of several Chelsea players on its way to the opposite touchline! As the clock ticks down, the Blues will get fewer and fewer chances to put this game beyond Al-Hilal's reach.
M. Sarr
Marcos Alonso
87' Chelsea's most recent change sees Alonso brought off for Malang Sarr.
86' Mount's trying to cause Al Shahrani a torrid time down that right-hand side, and succeeds in forcing a throw-in from the Al-Hilal left-back.
Ali Al Bulayhi
Yellow Card
Al Hilal
84' Al Bulaihi and Mount have a slight scuffle on the touchline, and the Al-Hilal defender is judged to have started the altercation, receiving a booking from the referee.
Matheus Pereira
Al Hilal
82' Pereira also comes off, replaced by fellow Brazilian Michael for Al-Hilal.
A. Carrillo
Salem Al Dawsari
Al Hilal
81' Al Dawsari is withdrawn in Al-Hilal's first change, and on comes Andre Carrillo.
M. Kovačić
Yellow Card
81' Al Dawsari looks to spark a counter-attack from the Chelsea corner, but he's stopped in his tracks by a sliding Kovacic, who is booked.
80' BLOCKED!!! Chelsea storm upfield after Ighalo is dubiously dispossessed by Kovacic and Lukaku storms forward. Assessing his options, he feeds the incoming Mount, whose shot on goal is deflected behind for a corner by Jang's outstretched foot!
78' Even the attacking from Chelsea is nervy at the moment. They've prevented Al-Hilal from equalising, but they've looked nowhere near their first-half rhythm in the second 45 minutes, and the Saudi side look far more likely to be the next to score.
76' Ziyech had been everywhere in attack for Chelsea. His two on target shots (from a total of four) looked certain to add to their tally, and he also completed nine crosses, the most of any Chelsea player so far.
74' WIDE!!! Jang gets the run on Silva from the corner and fires a bullet header towards goal from the near post. However, like the previous Pereira shot, it's just a fraction wide!
M. Mount
H. Ziyech
72' Chelsea make their next change as the impressive Ziyech comes off for Mason Mount.
70' WIDE!!! Pereira capitalises on a loose ball and looks to beat Kepa from the edge of the box, but his low, drilled effort curls away from goal and just skims the left-hand post!
69' From the corner, Al-Bulaihi goes down in the box under pressure from Rudiger, but his protests come to nothing as the referee waves play on!
68' WHAT A PAIR OF CHANCES!!! Al-Hilal break and Ighalo fires a first-time shot into the backside of Rudiger, but his second attempt is a curling effort that is only just tipped around the post by Kepa!! The Saudi side are firmly back in the arm wrestle of this game!
G. Cuéllar
Yellow Card
Al Hilal
66' Havertz looks to get free of Cuellar as he passes halfway, but he's scythed down by the Al-Hilal midfielder who is given the game's first yellow card.
66' Pereira steps up from 30 yards and smashes a free-kick into the Chelsea wall, deflecting the ball wide and out for a throw.
65' That chance and save produced the first corner of the match for Al-Hilal. Chelsea have taken six of their own already!
63' WHAT A STOP!!! Marega is put straight through on goal by Pereira and looks to beat Kepa, but the Chelsea keeper is equal to the effort and diverts it behind for an Al-Hilal corner!
62' The last game Chelsea played in this tournament was the final of the 2012 edition, where they lost to Corinthians following a 69th minute winner from Peruvian legend Paolo Guerrero. His fellow countryman Andre Carrillo will be looking to cause similar damage should he enter the pitch at any stage of this match.
60' SAVED!!! What a chance for Chelsea!!! It's a really well-worked move from the men in yellow, with a cross from the right finding Ziyech on the edge of the area. His drilled volley looks destined for the top corner, but it's tipped away by the right hand of Al Maiouf!
58' Cuellar mistimes a volleyed ball for Marega in the final third, and follows up by fouling Kovacic to concede the free-kick and bring the Al-Hilal attack to an end.
57' A clipped ball forward from Rudiger looks good for Havertz to connect with, but it's just a tad too high for the winger to latch onto and goes behind for a goal kick.
55' A Chelsea corner is swung in and Havertz loses his marker to head an effort on goal. It's not the best attempt, and rolls wide of the post.
53' Chelsea construct a positive attack of their own, but the final ball from Kante is too far ahead of both Lukaku and Azpilicueta and the pass comes to nothing.
51' OVER!!! A really good period of attack for Al-Hilal, and Kanno tries his luck from 25 yards. It's a decent effort too, just clipping the top of the crossbar as it flies over!!!
50' Al-Hilal became just the second side to score six goals in a single FIFA Club World Cup game in the last round, coming from behind to beat Al Jazira 6-1 to progress to the semi-finals.
48' OFF THE POST!!! Havertz strides forwards and looks to chip Al Maiouf from inside the box. He beats the keeper, but not the post, and the ball bounces back into the six-yard box before Al-Hilal eventually clear!
46' Al-Hilal kick the second half off, and here's hoping for another 45 minutes of great football!
N. Kanté
46' One half-time change for Chelsea, as Jorginho is withdrawn in place of N'Golo Kante.
The teams are heading back out for the second half, and Chelsea will want to sure up this scoreline as soon as possible!
His opener may have required a stroke of fortune, but Lukaku has clearly been Chelsea's main man in that first half. Two shots in the box, for an expected goals rate of 0.88, as well as five touches inside the Al-Hilal box, suggest he's set to be a handful as this game continues.
The first half comes to an end, with Chelsea definitely deserving of their slim 1-0 lead. Lukaku's opener, albeit quite fortunate, was coming, as Chelsea dominated proceedings. However, the hosts have looked promising when breaking out of their own half, and it's now up to Chelsea to prevent a comeback by putting this game to bed.
45' + 1' A long-range free-kick is taken on by Al Dawsari, but his 30-yard effort is easily gathered by Kepa in the Chelsea goal.
45' We'll play one minute of added time to close out this first half.
44' OVER!!! A poor Chelsea corner is headed away from danger, before Alonso tries his luck with a powerful half-volley from the edge of the area, which clears the bar by a fair distance!
42' BLOCKED!!! Lukaku brings down a lofted pass and looks to set Ziyech up with a shot, but the winger's finish is blocked at close range by Jang and Chelsea are once again denied!!
41' A deft touch from Cuellar's pass almost takes Ighalo beyond Christensen and setting sail towards goal, but the Chelsea defender recovers, sticking out a leg to re-gain possession for the leaders.
40' Al-Hilal come into this game on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions, beating Al Jazira 6-1 in the last round of this competition with all six of their goals being scored by different players.
38' A speculative header from range by Azpilicueta is poorly dealt with by Ali Bulaihi, and the faint deflection takes the ball behind for another Chelsea corner.
36' OVER!!! Al Dawsari cuts in from the left and heads towards goal. He beats his man and looks to fire in a curling strike, which sails just over the top of the bar!
34' That goal is a just reward for Chelsea, who have been by far the better side so far. At times, they've been peppering the Al-Hilal goal, so it seemed to only be a matter of time until they took the lead. As it was, Lukaku didn't exactly have much to do in order to put them 1-0 up.
R. Lukaku
32' GOOOALL!!!! Chelsea go 1-0 up!!! Havertz does very well to beat Al Burayk and cross, before the ball deflects off two unsuspecting defenders and lands in the path of Lukaku, who smashes the ball into the net from just a few yards out! A rather comical opening goal, but Chelsea won't care as it sees them take the lead!
30' Christensen whips a good across towards the face of goal, but the ball sails over three incoming Chelsea players' heads and goes behind.
29' The free-kick sees the ball chipped over the top and Marega lets fly with a half-volley towards goal, however it's wide by several yards and goes behind for a goal kick.
28' Pereira nips in to intercept a Chelsea attack and powers up the field. He links up with Marega, who is twisted to the floor by Silva and eventually awarded the free-kick on halfway.
26' SAVED! Lukaku uses his strength to keep possession under pressure from Jang, and fires a low shot that stings the fingertips of Al Maiouf, but the Al-Hilal keeper again makes the save!
24' After surviving that early onslaught from Chelsea, Al-Hilal are beginning to grow into this game and it's tempo, and are looking increasingly threatening every time they cross the halfway line.
22' Chelsea captain Azpilicueta is the only remaining player from the Blues’ previous appearance at the Club World Cup, back in December 2012, featuring in their final defeat to Corinthians.
20' Al-Hilal carve out a great chance at the other end, but the final ball from Marega is just a fraction behind Pereira, and the home side are dispossessed, bringing the chance to an end!
18' WHAT A CHANCE!!! Azpilicueta does so well to keep possession on the right, and whip in a great low cross towards goal. Lukaku is the only player near the ball, but mistimes his shot, missing it completely! Had he connected, Chelsea would've almost certainly scored there.
16' SAVED!!! Chelsea cut through the hosts like a hot knife through butter, and Havertz puts Lukaku through on goal. He squares Al Maiouf and shoots from a tight angle, but the Al-Hilal captain stands tall and deflects the effort wide!!
14' Chelsea have lost just one of their last 15 games in all competitions, with their only defeat in this period coming against Premier League reigning champions Manchester City.
12' BLOCKED!!! A Chelsea corner to the back post is headed away, but only as far as Kovacic, who fires a stinging low volley towards goal! Al Bulaihi gets in the way of it, and Al-Hilal prevent another attack from the European champions!
11' OVER!!! The hosts look to have averted the danger of a Chelsea attack, but the men in yellow win the ball back quickly as Azpilicueta sets up Ziyech inside him to shoot. The Moroccan does so, and fizzes his effort just over the crossbar!
9' WIDE!!! Silva strides forward and receives the ball in acres of space. Encouraged to have a pop at goal, he does so, and smashes a long-range effort that sails just a few yards wide of the goal!
8' The UEFA Champions League winners have made the final of the FIFA Club World Cup at 16 of the previous 17 editions of the tournament, with Manchester United in 2000 being the only such side to fail to reach the competition’s showcase.
6' Kovacic almost puts Ziyech into a hole, however the Al-Hilal defenders check him and recover possession to mount an attack of their own.
4' Ighalo comes deep to take a pass on the turn, but he's pushed over by Christensen and wins the foul for Al-Hilal.
2' This is the sixth time an English side has competed at the FIFA Club World Cup, and Chelsea’s second, with those teams making the final on four of the previous five occasions.
1' Pereira beats one before being shunted over, and Ighalo picks up the pieces to fire a speculative early shot wide of Kepa's goal.
1' The Champions League holders kick us off, and the game is underway!
The two teams enter the pitch at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, and kick-off isn’t far away now!
Romelu Lukaku will start up front for Chelsea respectively, and the Champions League holders’ bench also includes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, fresh off winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.
Chelsea will be wary of the ex-Manchester United striker leading the line for Al-Hilal, as Odion Ighalo starts for the Saudi side. Tucked in behind him is another player who recently appeared in the Premier League – former West Brom attacker Matheus Pereira.
CHELSEA SUBS: Marcus Bettinelli, Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Trevoh Chalobah, Saul Niguez, Ross Barkley, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kenedy, Malang Sarr.
CHELSEA (3-4-2-1): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen; Cesar Azpilicueta, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso; Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech; Romelu Lukaku.
AL–HILAL SUBS: Mohammed Al Owais, Abdullah Al-Jadani, Saleh El Shehri, Abdulrahman Al Obaid, Andre Carrillo, Muteb Al Mufarrij, Musab Al Juwayr, Saud Abdul Hamid, Mohammed Jahfali, Hamad Al Yami, Michael.
AL–HILAL (4-2-3-1): Abdullah Al Maiouf; Mohammed Al Burayk, Jang Hyun-Soo, Ali Al Bulaihi, Yasir Al Shahrani; Gustavo Cuellar, Mohammed Kanno; Salem Al Dawsari, Matheus Pereira, Moussa Marega; Odion Ighalo.
Chelsea, however, are the current European Champions for a reason, and despite Thomas Tuchel being absent due to Covid-19 isolation, the Blues boss will be confident that his side can get their first Club World Cup campaign since 2012 off to a good start.
AFC Champions League holders Al-Hilal are no strangers to the Club World Cup, having appeared in the 2019 edition of the tournament, and being the most successful club in Saudi football history.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this match in the FIFA Club World Cup, between Al-Hilal and Chelsea.