German defender Antonio Rudiger almost scored a fine solo effort during Chelsea’s win over Zenit and also pulled off a timely tackle at the other end.
Chelsea opened their defence of the Champions League with a victory as Romelu Lukaku finally pierced Zenit St Petersburg’s stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku, a £97.5m summer signing from Inter Milan, has already demonstrated his goal threat in the Premier League and was on the mark again with his first goal for Chelsea in the competition they won for the second time against Manchester City in June.
Chelsea were made to work hard as Zenit dug in but manager Thomas Tuchel’s side stepped up the pace after the interval, Lukaku breaking the deadlock when he headed in at the far post from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 69th minute.
The holders deserved the victory but Zenit missed a glorious chance to snatch a point when substitute Artem Dzyuba slid wide from six yards as he tried to turn in Sardar Azmoun’s cross late on.
Bayern brush aside Barca
It’s nice and easy to summarise the rest of Tuesday’s Champions League results… European heavyweights Bayern Munich and Juventus both won 3-0 away, everyone else drew!
Of course, that doesn’t quite tell the full story, though. Bayern’s win came in the Nou Camp, where a Barcelona side in transition could be set to endure a difficult season.
The Spanish giants were playing their first Champions League since the departure of talisman Lionel Messi and failed to muster a single shot on target… in the Nou Camp, imagine that!