Chelsea FC player ratings vs Zenit: Romelu Lukaku nets winner as Antonio Rudiger stars for lacklustre Blues

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea laboured to victory on the opening night of their Champions League defence as Romelu Lukaku’s goal earned a 1-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg.

Here’s how Thomas Tuchel’s men rated at Stamford Bridge...

Edouard Mendy 6

Hurt himself when putting off Dzyuba late on as the Zenit substitute blew a golden chance to equalise.

Cesar Azpilicueta 7

It was his cross that led to Lukaku’s goal. A moment of quality Chelsea had lacked to that point.

Andreas Christensen 7

Important header stopped Azmoun from getting in early on. Controlled throughout.

Toni Rudiger 7

Almost scored one of the great goals in Champions League football history when running the length of the pitch and firing narrowly wide. At the other end a crucial challenge stopped Azmoun from going clear on goal.

Reece James 6

Showed pace to deny Claudinho at the far post early on. Chelsea needed more from him in an attacking sense.

Jorginho 6

Continually looked for ways to pull Zenit’s rear-guard apart with his passing.

Mateo Kovacic 6

Chased back to stop Kuzyaev when Zenit looked like breaking. His speed helped Chelsea drive forward, but against a deep-lying defence, it was hard to create openings.

Marcos Alonso 6

Keeping a hold of that left wingback role. Like many of Chelsea’s players, he struggled to get in behind.

Hakim Ziyech 5

Did not look like opening Zenit up when starved of room to play the ball in to. What chances he did get, he did not make enough of them.

Romelu Lukaku 7

Starved of opportunities and that was not because of his lack of movement. Made the difference with his headed goal that ensured a winning start to Chelsea’s Champions League defence.

Mason Mount 5

His energy drove Chelsea forward on enough occasions, but his final ball was desperately lacking.

Substitutes

Kai Havertz (Ziyech, 63)

Got involved as soon as he came on by running into areas to disrupt Zenit’s defence.

Thiago Silva (Azpilicueta, 83)

Ben Chilwell (Alonso, 83)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Mount, 90)

Unused: Kepa, Bergstrom, Chalobah, Sarr, Barkley, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Werner.

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