5 Things Learned: Chelsea 1-0 Zenit St Petersburg | Champions League

What we learned from Chelsea's win
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The Blues kicked off the defence of their Champions League title with a 1-0 win at home to Zenit St Petersburg.

In the first half, Chelsea struggled as the Russian side sat back for the majority of the half. The Blues' final third play was questionable in the first forty-five.

However, in the second half, Chelsea went into second gear and was quick in the final third. Late on into the game, a Romelu Lukaku header gave Chelsea all three points.

A Romelu Lukaku goal was enough to give Chelsea the win.

A Romelu Lukaku goal was enough to give Chelsea the win.

Here's five things we learned from Chelsea's win


1) Romelu Lukaku the man of the hour once again

The game against Zent was Chelsea's first since winning the final against Manchester City. Throughout the majority of the match, the Blues struggled to break down the Russian side, who opted to play eleven men behind the ball. If this game was played last season, the Blues would have struggled. With that being said, since the signing of Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea finally has a focal point. Romelu caused problems throughout the game. Finally, late on into the second half, his efforts were rewarded with a goal. It's a blessing that Tuchel finally has a forward who guarantees goals and can make a real difference on the game.

2) The defence was on point yet again

Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, the German coach has seemed to have fixed Chelsea's defensive issues. Against the bigger sides, the Blues set up well and defend consistently. Teams struggle to break down Chelsea's back three. Over the years, the Blues have been exploited at the back. In the showdown with Zenit, Tuchel opted to start Azpilicueta, Christensen and Rudiger at the back. Despite play eleven men at the back, Zent did have their chances. When called upon, the defence were quick to shut up shop and keep the Russian side at bay.

With Zenit sitting back, the Blues struggled at times.

With Zenit sitting back, the Blues struggled at times.

3) Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech looked off the pace

It's no secret that Mason Mount is one for the future and could go down as a Chelsea legend. At the age of 22, Mason has already captained the side and continues to deliver when called upon. As for Hakim, the Morrocan was signed from Ajax last summer and has struggled to hold a regular place down. The showdown with Zent was a tough one. With the Russian side sitting back for the majority of the game, when Chelsea did have the ball forward, it was important that both Mount and Ziyech capitalised and get in behind their backline. Unfortunately, both men failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck in what wasn't the best of performances by the Blues.

4) Ben Chilwell will play a vital role this season

Going into the Champions League clash with Zenit, Ben Chilwell had not played a single minute of football this season. Marcos Alonso has started every game so far this season and has impressed Thomas Tuchel. However, leading up to Zenit, the manager came out to express his support of the English midfielder. Chilwell was in England's squad for the European Championship's but didn't play a single minute. The lack of game time over the summer has clearly taken its toll on Chilwell. With that being said, on his day, Chilwell is an integral part of Chelsea's set-up and can cause a lot of problems. Now isn't the time to panic with Ben, the season has only begun.

Both Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech looked off the pace tonight.

Both Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech looked off the pace tonight.

5) It was important to start off with three points in the Champions League

With Juventus winning away to Malmo, it was vital that Thomas Tuchel's men also picked up all three points at home to Zenit. In the first half, Chelsea were reluctant in the final third. However, in the second half, the Blues looked a bit sharper and managed to get the job done in the end. The win sets the side up nicely going forward. If the Blues dropped points on the opening night, then questions would have been asked. Next up in the Champions League is a tough trip to Juventus. 


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