Player Ratings: Chelsea 1-0 Zenit St Petersburg | Champions League

The ratings are in.
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Chelsea registered an insipid 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The reigning Champions of Europe kicked off the defence of their crown in relatively uninspiring fashion, as their Russian opponents proved a tough nut to crack all evening.

Indeed, it was the visitors who mustered up the best chance of the first period. Reece James arrived late with a vital intervention to deny Brazilian winger Claudinho with the Blues defence stretched.

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Penny for the thoughts of Thomas Tuchel at half-time, who could hardly hide his displeasure as he grew ever more animated over the first 45. It was therefore somewhat surprising that the Pensioners emerged unchanged after the break.

The occasion threatened more of the same after that break until Romelu Lukaku rose highest to guide a cushioned header home past Stanislav Kritsyuk in the 69th minute, and that was all that was needed for the three points.

Next on the agenda for Tuchel and his men is the small matter of a London derby against former Champions League nearly men Tottenham Hotspur. In the interim, here are our player ratings...


Edouard Mendy - 6/10

A quiet shift for the Senegalese giant after a not very quiet shift against Aston Villa just three days earlier, of which he may well be grateful.

César Azpilicueta - 7/10 [83]

An all too familiar sight of the Chelsea captain delivering a cross right on the money from a pocket of space put gloss on an evening in which his competence and experience was sorely needed. 

Andreas Christensen - 7/10

The Danish colossus was a steady head at the back, although it was not his most difficult task up against visitors all but happy to drop deep.

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Antonio Rüdiger - 8/10

Almost lit up the occasion with a surging run of what must have been sixty plus yards before firing wide. It was the most dangerous Chelsea had looked up until that point in the match, which is both a damning indictment on the German's teammates and complimentary of his explosive nature. Pitched in with some vital tackles, too.

Reece James - 6/10

Found himself parked in the opponents' half but struggled to create a spark alongside Ziyech in the channel. Imposed himself as the night wore on, demonstrating some great physical prowess to bully Douglas Santos.

Jorginho - 7/10

One of the brighter lights on the night he was presented with his UEFA Men's Player of the Season award. Excellent in the defensive phase and steady in the centre of the park.

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Mateo Kovacic - 7/10

Decent enough in the first half but ramped up into fifth gear in the second. Some of his splitting passes were picture perfect and typical of his metronomic showings of late. An on song Croatian dynamo will be of great utility for Thomas Tuchel in the wars to come.

Marcos Alonso - 6/10 [83]

Rewarded with another start in spite of clamour for Ben Chilwell to get the nod, the Spaniard had a distinctly average evening when compared to his recent, lofty efforts as the Zenit rearguard proved difficult for him to penetrate.

Hakim Ziyech - 4/10 [63]

"The Wizard" was more of a Muggle tonight, completely bereft of any invention or inspiration in equal measure. Stifled himself by playing more central in the hole, with Zenit all too happy to watch the Moroccan nullify his own best asset in his wand of a left foot from wide.

Mason Mount - 4/10 [90]

Too often guilty of not playing with his head up and having the vision to find the runs ahead of him, particularly in the case of Chelsea's number nine. When he did, his passing was wayward. One to forget for a talent usually so consistently dependable.

Romelu Lukaku - 8/10

A serious case of déjà vu as the Belgian juggernaut made sure what little chance he was afforded counted. It required an exercise of some serious patience up until his exquisite header, but nonetheless provided a scant reminder that is he, and Chelsea, are always a danger as long as he is spearheading the attack.


Bench

Kai Havertz - 6/10 [63]

The man who scored Chelsea's Champions League final winning goal had to make do with a quiet cameo on the Blues' return to the competition. Looked tidy enough but lacked that final killer ball.

Thiago Silva - N/A [83]

Ben Chilwell - N/A [83]

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - N/A [90]


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