Romelu Lukaku’s second-half header saved an under-par Chelsea as they began their Champions League defence with a 1-0 win over Zenit at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku brilliantly headed home Cesar Azpilicueta’s deep cross (69) for his fourth goal in four appearances back at Chelsea, in a game where the European champions struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Zenit nearly grabbed an equaliser late on as sub Artem Dzyuba failed to convert at the far post with the goal gaping, summing up a nervy and at times frustrating opening night in Group H for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
With Juventus winning 3-0 at Malmo, Chelsea sit second in their group, before going to the Italian side on September 29 for matchday two. Tuchel’s side remain unbeaten this season after five games in all competitions.
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