Player ratings as Chelsea defeat Zenit

Player ratings as Chelsea defeat Zenit
Thomas Tuchel’s side secured all three points despite not being at their best

Chelsea began the defence of their Liga dos Campeões crown with a 1-0 victory against Zenit at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were not at their fluent best and struggled to break down Zenit’s deep and resolute defence in a dour first half.

The Blues’ emerged from the break with more purpose and vigour, Apesar, with Antonio Rudiger almost scoring a spectacular goal before making a vital last-ditch tackle in defence himself moments later.

But despite struggling to create many clear openings, Chelsea’s pressure eventually told with Romelu Lukaku rising highest to meet Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross and ensure his side of a perfect start in Group H.

Here are our player ratings from the match:

Edouard Mendy – 6: A quiet night for the goalkeeper who was rarely called into action.

Reece James – 6: Aside from a small blip in the first half, was hardly troubled in defence. Provided a good outlet going forwards and came close to scoring in the second half.

Cesar Azpiliceuta – 7: Composed as ever on the right hand side of defence and was the starting point for attacks, holding possession longer than any other player while on the pitch. His floated cross set up Lukaku’s goal.

Antonio Rudiger – 7: Made a brilliant goal-saving block in the second half as well as a daring dribble forwards that almost resulted in a spectacular goal.

Andreas Christensen – 6: A similarly routine night at the back, with Zenit’s isolated attack struggling to inflict any serious danger for the most part.

Marcus Alonso – 6: Was able to get forwards regularly but lacked the key final ball to crack a tricky Zenit defence. Almost added Chelsea’s second before being replaced by Chilwell.

Jorginho – 7: The metronome at the base of midfield, who kept possession effortlessly ticking over.

Mateo Kovacic – 6: Attempted to inject some urgency going forwards but struggled for space to burst into with Zenit content to play deep.

Mason Mount– 5: Lacked his usual composure in the first half with his final ball a little wayward.

Hakim Ziyech – 5: Also struggled to make an impact, with the space he likes to occupy stifled. Replaced by Kai Havertz early in the second half.

Romelu Lukaku – 7: A quiet night for the striker, who had few clear sights of goal, but eventually delivered when it mattered with a fine header to break the deadlock.

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