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Chelsea edge Zenit 1-0 to begin UCL title defence

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Chelsea began their Champions League title defence with a 1-0 win over Zenit St. Petersburg following a Lukaku header.

Romelu Lukaku was tightly marked by a well-organised Zenit St Petersburg backline. It felt like a door was slamming in his face everywhere he turned.

As the match rolled on, the visitors begun to think they had him and Chelsea under control. However, Lukaku only needs a second to break free and that is exactly what happened.

Chelsea finally breach stubborn Zenit

Chelsea had to work hard as Zenit fought back resiliently. However, manager Thomas Tuchel’s men stepped up the pace after the interval with Lukaku breaking the deadlock.

The 28-year-old converted captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s far-post cross, after shrugging aside three Zenit defenders, with a header of breathtaking accuracy.

This is the Belgian’s third goal in two matches and his fourth for the Blues since his high-profile move from Inter.

Chelsea Zenit, Six Sports
Chelsea beat Zenit to begin their UCL title defense

Chelsea’s victory was unsurprising given their status as Champions League holders. Moreover, this match was a statement that they were ready to do whatever was needed to get the job done.

It was the talismanic Lukaku who made the difference for Chelsea. He did so by providing the cutting edge they often lacked last season, despite winning Europe’s elite competition in Porto.

Thomas Tuchel had commented it was good that Lukaku had hit the ground running on his return. Normally strikers do not like to wait for their goals.

Lukaku is simply on fire with four goals in as many games. Even with the little seen so far, it is easy to think that Chelsea have found the suitable piece to their jigsaw.

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