Lukaku the difference as Chelsea edge past Zenit in Champions League opener

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal for Chelsea as they ground out a 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.

The Blues were left frustrated in the first half as Zenit defended well and kept them at bay. Thomas Tuchel’s men, who are looking to defend the trophy they won in May, didn’t manage to have a single shot on target.

Whatever the German said to his players at the break worked as the star-studded team came out much better in the second half. Hakim Ziyech saw a left-footed effort saved before Antonio Rudiger dragged a shot wide, following a charging run.

Lukaku then stepped up for Chelsea to bag his fourth goal of the season in as many games. Cesar Azpilicueta received the ball on the right and put in a deep cross, which Lukaku headed home from close range in the 69th minute.

The home side didn’t have it all their own way, however. Sardar Azmoun played a ball across goal which should have been tapped home by substitute Artem Dzyuba. The Russia international failed to get enough contact and instead crashed into Edouard Mendy.

The Blues kept the ball for most of the latter stages to secure their first victory in Group H.

More to follow…

 

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