- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Chelsea - FC Zenit
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FULL TIME: Chelsea with a hard fought victory courtesy of Lukaku's second half header. It wasnt pretty but the reigning champions start with a win. Thanks for following the game with us..
Lukaku takes on his defender and Santos does brilliantly to tackle him in the box.
Mount makes way for Loftus-Cheek.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek preparing to come on.
There will be 4 added mins.
- OffYaroslav RakytskyiFC Zenit
- OnDanil KrugovoyFC Zenit
More changes from the Russians. Mostovoy and Krugovoi on.
Since that Dzyuba chance, Zenit have not looked like scoring. The introduction of Silva and Chilwell was smart.
- OffCésar AzpilicuetaChelsea
- OnThiago SilvaChelsea
Chelsea make a double change to tighten things up. Silva on for Azpilicueta, Chilwell on for Alonso.
- OffDaler KuzyaevFC Zenit
- OnKirill KravtsovFC Zenit
Kuzyaev on for Kravtsov. Mendy is okay to continue.
WHAT A CHANCE! Dzyuba toe pokes it wide with the goal at his mercy, he is then injured after a collision with Mendy who also took a whack and needs treatment.
CLOSE! Alonso flashes a low effort wide from distance after some nifty footwork.
The Blues still having the lions share of the possession with Lukaku playing in a wider role.
- OffWendelFC Zenit
- OnAleksandr ErokhinFC Zenit
Wendel makes way for Erokhin. Zenit switching to two up front.
- OffMalcomFC Zenit
- OnArtem DzyubaFC Zenit
Malcom off for Dzyuba, who has a good goal record.
The Russians are preparing to make a couple of changes.
CHANCE! Mount's shot is charged down, he then takes too many touches in the box instead of passing to Lukaku and the chance goes begging.
- GoalRomelu LukakuChelsea
GOAL FOR CHELSEA! Azpilcueta with the pinpoint cross, and the deadlock is broken by Lukaku with a header.
The tempo has been better from Chelsea in the second half but they have created little overall given the attacking talent they have.
Mount wins the ball, finds Havertz whose cross is blocked. The corner is cleared.
The free-kick from Alonso is punched clear, it falls to Kovacic who smashes it into the upper tier but a foul has been blown against Chelsea.
Booking for Rakits'kyy for bringing down Mount near the box. Ziyech is off unsurprisingly with Havertz on.
In the other game in this group, Juventus are 3-0 up away to Malmo with former Blues striker Alvaro Morata on the scoresheet.
Vital tackle from Rudiger in the box as Azmoun was puting the trigger. Huge let off for the home side.
Ziyech is on a tightrope here, his distribution has been poor.
CLOSE! Lukaku with his back to goal tees up James who fires it into the side netting from a tight angle.
Ziyech does well to head away a dangerous cross.
Havertz is warming up. Expect him or Hudson-Odoi to come on you would think for some out and out width.
Zenit corner after good defending from Christensen. Its short again for some reason and is blocked by Alonso, disappointing from the visitors.
WHAT A RUN! Rudiger bulldozes his way from his own half into the box and lashes a shot wide, wow.
CHANCE! The ball ricochets to Ziyech who has a low effort which is tame and is comfortably saved.
No personnel changes by either side. Am surprised Chelsea did not make a change in midfield.
- 2nd Half
KICK OFF: We are back underway.
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Chelsea with all those changes have been below-par, lots of passing but not much accuracy in the final third. Zenit have been defensively well drilled.
- Yellow cardCésar AzpilicuetaChelsea
Azpilcueta is booked for a tug.
CHANCE! James' cross is headed well over from Lukaku under pressure from his marker.
Corner to the Blues. The delivery comes in, the keeper flaps at it, and it misses everyone.
Chelsea patiently passing it around the box a lot but theres been no incisive through ball.
CHANCE: Zenit have a corner which is played short. Its crossed to Rakitskyy, on the edge of the box and is curling effort is straight at Mendy.
Alonso's cross is blocked for a corner. More groans from the crowd as James' corner is cleared at the near post.
CHANCE! Mount wins the ball and feeds Lukaku in the box whose rather hopeful shot is charged down by Sutormin.
Its been comfortable for the Russians, they have looked defensively organsied and compact.
Ziyech has lost the ball six times already.
I recall South American football guru Tim Vickery saying recently Colombian Barrios is a quality midfielder and he was surprised a bigger club have not snapped him up. He has looked good.
Chelsea have a corner. James swings it in and the keeper gets enough on it to clear.
Mount fees Lukaku in the box but the ball is hacked away before the Belgian can shoot.
Tuchel is shaking his head and does not look a happy chappy on the sidelines.
Zenit have a free-kick midway in the Chelsea half, they opt to send it wide, it comes to Kuzyaev who gets his shot from outside the box all wrong.
Brilliant challenge from Kovacic on the right flank to stop Kuzeaev crossing the ball in, the former Real Madrid man is in great form.
Ziyech's drive from outside the box is charged down by Chistyakov. Mount then fires in a cross but its over Lukaku's head.
James nicks the ball away as Claudinho had a clear sight at goal after a flick on. The corner is a poor one and the Blues clear.
Tuchel appears to be shouting to his wing-backs, telling them to push up.
Impressive defending from Zenit so far.
Zenit going for the super press in the early stages, not giving the hosts any breathing space.
Chelsea give it away near the box, it nearly falls to Malcolm who is shaping to shoot but the ball is cleared.
KICK OFF: We are underway at Stamford Bridge.
COUNTDOWN: 5 mins till kickoff!
Chelsea will hope to begin their campaign better than Manchester United, who have lost 2-1 to Young Boys in Switzerland.
Azpilicueta, nicknamed "Dave", will play his 50th Champions League game for the Blues tonight while keeper Mendy makes his 50th appearance for the club since his switch last year from Rennes.
Zenit are winless in their last seven Champions League games with one draw and six defeats. Last season they were eliminated in a group containing Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge.
Zenit are in good form with 3 wins and 2 draws in their past 5 games.
Chilwell is again on the bench. Ahead of the game, Thomas Tuchel had some insightful things to say about the defender's struggles to get into the first-team for the Blues and England.
"He came from a Champions League win, 90 minutes, a strong performance and a good end to the season in general. He played a lot of minutes for us in many important games, at a high level.
"Then it was individually for him a tough Euros, because there were chances where he thought he could have played. I know it was a tough one, because you feel a part of the team, but you don't feel it really if you don't sweat it out on the pitch and if you never wear the shirt. It's a strange feeling, also to keep training for four or five weeks continuously.
"He had a break and it was hard for him to totally relax and get this disappointment off his shoulders. When he arrived here, I felt him a bit mentally tired, still worrying about the situation.
"At the same time, he was very unlucky because Marcos was here the whole pre-season and he took this opportunity with such a huge quality and attitude. Marcos was crucial for us from the first day in training and then he delivered in Chilly's position."
We had some talks with Chilly about the situation," added Tuchel. "He knows I would have done the same thing if it was the other way around - to trust him if he was here and showed personality and attitude like Marcos did.
"There are no further worries for Chilly. He just needed to be a bit patient and keep training. It took some time - we had to give him a little bit of time to be more patient with himself, to find the joy again and to find things a little bit more easy on the pitch and to not want to force it too hard.
"But he's in the race now. He's in good shape so he can play any minute."
ZENIT: Kritsyuk, Sutormin, Chistiakov, Rakitskyy, Douglas Santos, Malcom, Wendel, Barrios, Kuzyaev, Claudinho, Azmoun...Subs: Kerzhakov, Odoevski, Krugovoi, Mostovoy, Erokhin, Dzyuba, Kravstov, Khotulev.
CHELSEA: Mendy, James, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso, Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount, Ziyech, Lukaku...Subs: Kepa, Bergstrom, Silva, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Saul Niguez, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Havertz, Sarr.
Chalobah, Silva, Hudson-Odoi, Saul, who had a baptism of fire against Aston Villa on his debut, and Havertz drop out. In comes James, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Jorginho and Mount.
Hello and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE digital coverage as Chelsea begin the defence of their Champions League crown at home to Zenit St Petersburg. Kickoff is at 20:00 BST.