Chelsea 1-0 Zenit St Petersburg: Romelu Lukaku guides the Blues to a narrow win | UCL 2021-22

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates winning goal against Zenit St. Petersburg-UEFA Champions League
Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea celebrates winning goal against Zenit St. Petersburg-UEFA Champions League - IMAGO / PRiME Media Images

Chelsea picked up a narrow 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg in their UEFA Champions League opener earlier tonight.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game for the Blues in the second half and Thomas Tuchel will be relieved to have made a winning start to Chelsea’s Champions League campaign.

Here at Anytime football, we look at the three major talking points from tonight’s contest.

Chelsea’s Lack of creativity in the final third

Chelsea enjoyed 66% ball possession tonight but the Blues struggled to make the most of the dominance.

Most of their passing was lacking purpose and they could have used a quality creator in the final third tonight.

Thomas Tuchel decided to start with Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount as his attacking midfielders but the Blues could have used some pace and trickery instead.

The likes of Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic could have been useful for Chelsea against Zenit’s deep block.

Romelu Lukaku scores on a difficult day

It was a game of few opportunities for Chelsea and the importance of having a clinical goal scorer was evident tonight.

Romelu Lukaku managed to score the only goal of the game and the Belgian showed exactly why Chelsea splashed out a massive transfer fee on him.

Last season the Blues would have dropped two points in a game like this with the likes of Timo Werner struggling to score consistently.

Contests like these call for a proven goalscorer and Romelu Lukaku delivered when his team needed him to.

Chelsea’s Defensive excellence

Chelsea have been remarkable at the back ever since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel and they put on another defensive masterclass tonight.

The visitors struggled to get past the home side and Chelsea have now picked up 10 clean sheets in the last 14 Champions League encounters.