Chelsea open the Champions League campaign against Zenit
Chelsea began the defense of their Champions League triumph with a difficult draw against Russian Zenit St Petersburg. Although last season’s awards were handed out before the match, it was far from an award-winning performance by the Blues, who worked hard for much of the match.
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2021
However, the west side of London finally managed a result, with Romelu Lukaku heading home to Thomas Tuchel’s side with 20 minutes remaining.
Here are 5 things 101 chosen from the game.
1. Lukaku offers Chelsea another much-needed dimension
The great signing that Chelsea made in the form of Romelu Lukaku is always expected to make a big impact, and it’s fair to say that the Belgian certainly has. Scoring on his debut against Arsenal, the forward scored twice more against Aston Villa and started the match against Zenit.
Though largely isolated, he offered a brilliant alternative option to the technical prowess of his other forwards. In fact, when the game’s first shot on goal finally came, it was the result of Lukaku’s fantastic delay play.
Like any good striker, he can’t impress without serve, and he saw little of the ball in position to affect play. However, all it took was an opportunity. A floating center from the right by César Azpilicueta was greeted with a strong header from the Belgian, who got into the bottom corner.
And that’s what we lacked last season.
– Alison Bender (@alibendertv) September 14, 2021
2. Zenit is not easy
Honestly, it was an incredibly boring first half. Zenit, lined up in a deep block 5-4-1, thwarted alongside Chelsea, who in turn were far from their best. Mason Mount, in particular, was poor on the ball, while Hakim Ziyech was practically anonymous.
Chelsea have yet to register a shot on goal against Zenit St Petersburg.
– Squawka Soccer (@Squawka) September 14, 2021
Of course, a great credit must go to the visitors, who worked hard to close the avenues that Chelsea normally exploit, especially in wide areas. This remained the case for much of the match, and in the end it was only Romelu Lukaku who demonstrated the difference between the two sides.
One consolation for the Blues is the fact that, should Zenit remain so formidable for the remainder of the group stage, they will certainly give Juventus a run for their money as well, clearing the way for Chelsea to finish. on top.
3. Kovacic returns to enjoy his football
The addition of Saul Niguez appears to have given an added incentive to Mateo Kovacic, who has stepped up his game so far this season. A sublime pass for Lukaku’s first goal against Aston Villa was compounded by a brilliant performance by the Croatian against his rival tonight.
⭐️ Man of the match, @Chelsea football clubMateo Kovacic
61/72 passes completed
9x possession won
1 chance created: assist for Lukaku’s first goal
2 shots, 1 on goal – 1st goal at home for the club pic.twitter.com/ZBvFBcfWqc
– Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 11, 2021
Having donned the illustrious number 8 jersey, the most famous of his former manager Frank Lampard, it seems he has so far improved his performances to equalize. If he is able to hold it, it will cause a severe headache for Thomas Tuchel when N’golo Kante returns.
4. Chelsea needs to tie up Antonio Rudiger
One of the most important parts of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side is the wild runs Antonio Rudiger does from the left side of defense, creating a spare man in the process.
50: Almost an outstanding goal from Rudiger! 😅
We caught the ball well within our own half and went on and on and on, before shooting wide! 😮
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2021
However, the German has only 12 months left to execute his current deal at Stamford Bridge, with reports suggesting that:
“There are a couple of clubs that are looking at Rudiger’s situation and have opened private discussions between intermediaries to let him know what would be on the table, and he is reasonably open to considering a future away from Chelsea.”
If Rudiger walked away from the Blues next summer, it would represent a massive failure for the club, both on defense and offense.
5. Chelsea is not in full swing
They say that teams that win the championship find ways to win even when they don’t play well. If this is the case, then Chelsea must be ready to complete the League and Champions League double.
The ‘European Champions’ echoed through the stadium more relieved than anything else by Chelsea fans after Lukaku’s opening match, who would have been well aware that they were somewhat fortunate to get the resounding victory over Villa on Saturday, and they looked firmly out of shape against the Russian side.
However, like all good teams, they kept their composure and found a way to achieve a brave result and start their Champions League campaign in the best possible way.
Antonio Rudiger willing to let Chelsea free next summer if contract offer does not arrive
Chelsea fans take to social media to describe the key difference between this season and last during the Zenit tie
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2021-09-13T15: 00: 20Z
Thomas Tuchel & Cesar Azpilicueta Live press conference: Chelsea – FC Zenit | Champions League
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2021-09-13T13: 12: 37Z
Premier League table
|2||Chelsea Football Club||4||8||10|
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||4||2||9|
|8||West Ham United||4||5||8|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||United manchester||4|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||3|
|Lukaku, Romelu||Chelsea Football Club||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||3|
|Greenwood, Mason||United manchester||3|
|Benrahma said||West Ham United||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||2|
|Fornals, Pablo||West Ham United||2|
|Torres, Ferran||Manchester city||2|
|Gallagher, Conor||crystal Palace||2|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||United manchester||2|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||2|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle united||2|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||2|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton and Hove Albion||2|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||2|
|Edouard, Odsonne||crystal Palace||2|
|Player||Team||Red cards||Yellow cards|
|Pogba, Paul||United manchester||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Etebo, Oghenekaro||Watford FC||0||3|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||2|
|Fernandes, Bruno||United manchester||0||2|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||2|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton and Hove Albion||0||2|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford fc||0||2|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||2|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||2|
|Struijk, Pascal||Leeds United||1||1|
|Thong, Japhet||Tottenham Hotspur||0||1|
|Herd, Fabian||Newcastle united||0||2|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur||0||2|
|Stephens, Jack||Southampton FC||0||2|
|Marcal, Fernando||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||2|
|Moro, Lucas||Tottenham Hotspur||0||2|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||2|
|Pogba, Paul||United manchester||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||3|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester city||3|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||2|
|Benrahma said||West Ham United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea Football Club||2|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle united||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea Football Club||2|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton and Hove Albion||2|
|Pereira, Ricardo||Leicester City||2|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trento||Liverpool FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||1|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||1|
|Fornals, Pablo||West Ham United||1|
|Torres, Ferran||Manchester city||1|
|Gallagher, Conor||crystal Palace||1|
|Zaha, Wilfried||crystal Palace||1|
|Mahrez, Riyadh||Manchester city||1|