At the end of a very good collective action initiated at Kritsyuk’s surface, Azmoun was alerted with his back to goal within 18 meters of Chelsea. But the Zenith striker lacks control and loses the ball.
Long English possession streak in the opposing half of the field. The Zenith does not manage to come out of his camp with the ball.
All of Chelsea’s field players are in the Zenith half of the field. The Blues settle quietly in the camp of the Russians.
Two teams in the history of the Champions League have missed their start by losing after winning the title the previous season: AC Milan (1994-95) and Liverpool (2019-20).
In the Chelsea camp, along the touchline, Rudiger imposes himself physically, with the arms, to take the ball in the feet of Malcom and to release as far as possible.
Polish referee Bartosz Frankowski kicks off the match. Chelsea start with possession of the ball.
Both sides won their last league game this weekend: Chelsea beat Aston Villa 3-0 while Zenith defeated Akhmat Grozny 3-1. The Russian club is also at the top of its championship after seven days.
Chelsea and Zenith Saint Petersburg are in two diametrically opposed series in the Champions League. The English have been undefeated for 11 matches in the group stage, while the Russians have not won any of their last 7 games in C1.
On the side of the Zenith, Sergei Semak opts for a resolutely defensive formation, in 4-5-1. Azmoun will be the only striker for the Russian team tonight.
Thomas Tuchel, still deprived of Kanté, injured, does not change his system to 3-4-2-1. Mendy holds in goal. Christensen was preferred to Silva in central defense. Ziyech and Mount will be in support of Lukaku, alone in the lead.
Chelsea begin the defense of their title with the reception of Zenith, a club they have never faced in European competition. The Blues have a more than positive record against Russian clubs, with five wins and one draw in the Champions League.
The Champions League finally starts tonight! Welcome to our site to follow the first day match of Group H between Chelsea and Zenith Saint Petersburg.