Chelsea 1 Zenit 0: Romelu Lukaku grabs first Blues Champions League goal as Tuchel’s side make winning start to defence



ROMELU LUKAKU struck the blow which suggests Chelsea escape the embarrassment of falling flat on their huge night time time time out as European champions.

The unstoppable new striker lastly broke the impasse with 21 minutes to go for his fourth goal in as many video video video games since re-signing inside the summertime.

Romelu Lukaku leapt highest to energy in a header within the route of ZenitCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
It was the first Champions League goal the Belgian had scored for Chelsea – and fourth entire since his returnCredit: Getty

But it’d’t masks a irritating night time time time for Chelsea who had hoped to sparkle beneath the lights and steamroller Russian cannon fodder to kick off the defence of their Champions League crown.

Lukaku’s headed winner was solely the second shot on course for the employees all of us wants to slap down in Europe this season.

The employees which claimed a really highly effective prize in world membership soccer strolled out to fizz-popping fireworks and the idea they could stroll to a simple win.

Instead, the followers had been handled to soccer’s equal of soppy rain falling on to the embers of a dying bonfire.

For boss Thomas Tuchel, who warned within the route of his employees getting complacent following their epic triumph in May, it was a tough night time time time.

It will not be uncommon to see a really grown German man slapping his thighs and shouting on the prime of his voice.



However, this was not Tuchel having satisfying with a regular night time time time of leisure as soon as extra in his homeland whereas sporting leather-based shorts.

This was Chelsea’s supervisor smacking his extended, spindly legs in frustration as his employees’s defence of the Champions League title fell technique in need of expectations.

With knee raised, arms waving, clapping above his head to attempt to drag some life out of his gamers, Chelsea’s spectacular start to the season hit the buffers.

What was supposed to be an enormous get collectively interspersed by a rollover match, the awkward Russians stood up to the beforehand ruthless Blues for higher than an hour.

In that point, solely waspish winger Hakim Ziyech managed to pierce the Zenit defence with a shot that was comfortably saved.

And it comes to one issue when centre-half Antonio Rudiger turns into possibly basically essentially the most potent attackers collectively collectively along with his loopy run three minutes later.

It was virtually as if the extraordinarily environment friendly defender had seen ample and took factors into his personal palms.

Taking possession of the ball merely his side of the centre circle, Rudiger ploughed his technique upfield higher than 50 yards, with a dizzying dribble that appeared like Ronaldo.

Sadly, when it obtained proper right here to doing the enterprise finish collectively collectively along with his eyes mounted on the Zenit goal, Rudiger reverted to type and shot like Ronaldo’s mum from merely contained inside the self-discipline to ship the ball intensive.

That sort of sums up the night time time time Chelsea endured: by no means actually in downside nonetheless by no means actually in administration every.


Even although Tuchel recalled only a few of his huge weapons to add some sparkle to a fixture that struggled to get the juices flowing, regardless of the event.

Mason Mount beginning in any employees, whether or not or not or not for Chelsea or England, ought to make for a minimal diploma of swashbuckle and attacking vogue.

But even the rakish ahead struggled to impose his particular particular person high quality on the sport for a sustained interval – as a minimal in the midst of the first half.

Tuchel’s completely totally different devilish winger Kai Havertz, the one who scored the goal to win the Champions League for Chelsea, was rested nevertheless it was an almost first selection line-up other than that.

Yet the Russians’ spectacular organisation, resoluteness in defence and gorgeous composure going forwards, made it a far rather a lot a lot much less cosy night time time than it ought to have been on paper.

It is early days all through the season on each the home and European fronts.

But having centered £97.5million of funding into formidable striker Lukaku, it’s already uncommon for them to endure a whole 45 minutes with out mustering a shot on course.

The most notable threats from Tuchel’s champions all through the first half had been forcing Zenit keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk into pawing away only a few swerving balls as they drifted aimlessly on to his patch all through the six-yard self-discipline.

Tuchel is not going to be going to have appreciated what he noticed final night time time time nonetheless will clearly be happy that his employees bought off to a winning start in an extended promoting advertising and marketing marketing campaign.

He wants his gamers to have moderately extra starvation than final season. He is demanding that winning the European Cup within the route of Manchester City doesn’t make them subconsciously sit as soon as extra on their laurels.

It is one issue he’ll re-iterate to them tomorrow when the squad rocks up on the Surrey educating floor for a heat down and a debrief.

Chelsea could solely take care of two pictures on course all night time time time within the route of the weakest employees of their group – and at residence.

Even Lukaku, who’s scoring for satisfying within the interim, shot feebly intensive when put by means of all through the dying minutes of the sport.

Jorginho was launched collectively collectively along with his Uefa males’s participant of the yr award from president Aleksander CeferinCredit: Getty
Edouard Mendy required attention after a nasty collision with Artem Dzyuba
Edouard Mendy required consideration after a nasty collision with Artem DzyubaCredit: Reuters
Ben Chilwell, left, came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season
Ben Chilwell, left, obtained proper right here off the bench to make his first look of the seasonCredit: Reuters
Mason Mount struggled to make an impact on the game
Mason Mount struggled to make an have an effect on on the sportCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

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