Stamford Bridge — Chelsea struggled to defeat the determined Zenit St. Petersburg before Romelu Lukaku won the European Champions League defense 1-0.
When Cesar Azpilicueta looped a speculative ball into the box in the 69th minute, it seemed more frustrating than a hopeful imagination. However, Lukaku took full advantage of it, standing up in a distant post and nodding home, proving the difference between the two teams.
A year ago, Bruce lacked the focus of such a game, and even Lukaku didn’t offer it on Tuesday night. Lukaku fell even deeper in the first half, covering Reece James even stopping Malcolm on the track, and a former Barcelona winger threatening the bottom right.
But abandoning the experiment was the key to his winner. If you leave it as it is, your goal will be achieved.
Fireworks have brought the European champions to the stage as Thomas Tuchel, Giorginho, N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy receive individual honors from President Alexander Seferin for the Uefa 2020-21 season. The latter was ridiculed by Stamford Bridge, but it was a short ceremony to reiterate how much Bruce reigned at this last tournament.
Tuchel probably thinks that maintaining the Champions League is more achievable than winning the Premier League trophy in Manchester City.
Judging by the noise of the crowd each time he appears on the sidelines, Timo Werner seems to have grown in popularity since being made the second choice by Lukaku’s arrival. But if Werner is still causing distrust, the Belgians can rely on to change their chances, no matter how long it takes to emerge. So following Chelsea’s strategy, two crosses from Mason Mount and Marcos Alonso became a 28-year-old shy.
Lukaku would have been able to clear the deadlock much faster if the mount hadn’t created a series of unusually misplaced paths. It shows why Colombian international Wilmer Barrios, who noticed that Alonso was being pulled too centrally and had just arrived in England early in the morning due to travel restrictions, continues to be monitored. We talked about the crowded midfield clubs in Europe’s top five leagues.
Antonio Rudiger did his best to swing the match in favor of Chelsea, racing from half of himself towards Zenit’s box and scoring a narrow range. The defender then stopped Sardar Azmoun, Zenit’s co-top scorer. He found himself in Mendy’s box space, almost killing the visitor’s smash and grab hope.
Azmoun was largely lonely behind the ball at the midline with his 10 teammates early on. Prior to the kick-off, Zenit players were talking about what they lacked the excitement and ambition of visiting the champion’s house. They have a fierce battle display and yaroslav Rakits kyy’s challenge.
Both James and Alonso doubled Chelsea’s lead, with the right sideback (returning from domestic suspension) rattling the sidenet and the Spaniards widening their shots to finish the looting.
Mateo Kovacic was once again superior as he continued to grow into his role in the middle, among the few outstanding beings on either side. The Croat defeated Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday, putting in one of his best displays in a blue shirt. On his side, singing or horginho needed to be effective, but recovery from Daler Kuzyayev was again decisive. He robbed Alexei Stormin while he was lying on the grass. Kovacic later dodged Wendell, bringing Lukaku closer to one second of injury time.
Mendy, who played 50 times in Chelsea, had few bars to deal with Wendell’s harmless efforts until he collided with his substitute Artem Dzyuba in the 80th minute and needed a brief treatment. Goalkeepers appear to be suitable for a trip to Tottenham on Sunday.