Chelsea’s Champions League campaign got off to a disappointing start as they were defeated by Dinamo Zagreb 1-0.
Thomas Tuchel’s side dominated the ball throughout the game and were hit on the counter-attack as the Croatian champions scored after just 13 minutes.
A long ball went up to Bruno Petkovic, he flicked it onto Mislav Orsic, who raced away from Chelsea’s defenders before calmly slotting into the back of the net.
Chelsea did improve slightly in the second half and put a number of crosses in the box but all were met by the Dinamo backline who performed well in their low block frustrating the Blues. Dominik Livakovic made a couple of late saves to seal the three points as Chelsea ran out of ideas.
AC Milan and Salzburg meet this evening in the other game in Group E.
TALKING POINT – CHELSEA’S STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Chelsea are yet put in a performance that matches Tuchel’s expectations this season and again they became victims on the road as a result of poor defending and a lack of inspiration up top.
Dinamo sat deep and defended well with Chelsea only making the keeper work in stoppage time. They moved the ball far too slow in the first half and despite picking up the pace in the second they resulted to just crosses. As for their defending, Tuchel previously called it “weak” and “sloppy” telling his players to toughen up. Petkovic and Orsic linked up well causing them issues continuously. Kalidou Kouliably was caught on the wrong side a number of times giving a way a number of fouls and is yet to settle in a blue shirt.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JOSIP MISIC
It’s tough to pick a player of the match as so many of the Dinamo players were outstanding. Petkovic and Orsic’s telepathic link-up play created the goal, captain Arijan Ademi was an engine in midfield as was Robert Ljubicic on the left-flank. But, Josip Misic protected the back five brilliantly well putting in a number of tackles and always being an option to receive the ball.
Dinamo Zagreb: Livakovic 8, Ristovski 7, Sutalo 8, Peric 7, Moharrami 7, Ademi 8, Misic 9, Ivanusec 7, Ljubicic 8, Petkovic 9, Orsic 8.
Subs: Lauritsen 7, Spikic 7, Baturina 6, Drmic 6.
Chelsea: Kepa 7, Azpilicueta 4, Fofana 6, Koulibaly 3, James 7, Mount 6, Kovacic 5, Chilwell 6, Havertz 5, Sterling 5, Aubameyang 4.
Subs: Ziyech 4, Broja 6, Jorginho 5, Cucurella 5, Pulisic 5.
13’ – GOAL (ORSIC) – Completely against the run of play. Chelsea have committed so many bodies up the pitch and a clearance goes into Petkovic. He heads onto Orsic who bursts away from Fofana and Azpilicueta. He then calmly finishes rolling it beyond Kepa.
31′ – SAVE (KEPA) – Dinamo have not come forward much in the game but every time they do attack it results in a shot. This time Ademi has a go from distance and it stings Kepa’s palms.
87′ – SAVE (LIVAKOVIC) – James cuts in from the right and his shot cannons off the post and Livakovic’s hand. Mount then has a go which is again saved by the keeper but it rolls to Ziyech, he is offside anyway but again it’s save by Livakovic.