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Chelsea 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis and more

All the reaction from Chelsea’s final Champions League clash


Chelsea FC Club Crest - Image ID: DD6080

Chelsea got the better of Dinamo Zagreb to make it four wins from six in their dead rubber Champions League clash in group E. It was a 1-0 defeat to Zagreb on Champions League opening night that ultimately cost Thomas Tuchel his job at the head of the Blues, but the game rarely looked like it would be a repeat result under new boss Graham Potter.

It began with a scare, however, as Bruno Petkovic opened the scoring for the visitors with their first attack of the game, the striker heading home unmarked after good work at the back post.

The Blues found their stride amid the pouring rain, however, as a Jorginho pass allowed Aubameyang to square the ball to Raheem Sterling to level the scoring. Then it was Kai Havertz who turned provider minutes later, pulling the ball back to allow Denis Zakaria to fire home on his Blues debut.

Graham Potter’s side continued to dominate, but squandered chance after chance, finding Dominik Livakovic a hard man to beat in goal as both Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher forced fine saves on two occasions.

Nonetheless, it was ultimately an easy win for the Blues, with Zagreb failing to create anything of note even as they needed a win to stand any chance of Europa League football.

An otherwise straightforward victory was marred by a series of injuries, however, with Zakaria forced off limping and Ben Chilwell picking up a hamstring injury in the closing moments that seems likely to rule him out of the World Cup.

With table-toppers Arsenal to come this weekend, it remains to be seen how much playing a full-strength side in a dead-rubber could come back to haunt Graham Potter and the Blues.

Player ratings

Chelsea

GK: Edouard Mendy - 6

Had virtually nothing to do and his footwork was not tested.

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta - 6

Looked solid enough but wasn’t really tested defensively and lacked any real threat going forward.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah - 7

Switched off for the opening goal but was otherwise impressive.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly - 6

Not one of his finest nights as he was caught ball-watching for the opener, but a solid enough return from injury.

LB: Ben Chilwell - 7

A strong audition in Cucurella’s absence. The Englishman was strong going both ways as he looks to stake a claim to the no.1 left-back spot, but a late hamstring injury has almost certainly ruled him out of the World Cup.

CM: Mason Mount - 8

Another good outing from Mount, who dictated play well and forced a pair of fine saves from Livakovic.

CM: Jorginho - 8

Provided a lovely pass for the opening goal, and continues to show that when given time on the ball he is World Class.

CM: Denis Zakaria - 8

Capped a strong debut with a goal from the edge of the area before being taken off with an injury in the second half. Will be hoping it is nothing too serious now he has made his first Blues appearance.

RW: Raheem Sterling - 6

A mixed night for Sterling, who took his goal very well before skying a sitter minutes later.

ST: Kai Havertz - 6

Better than he has been in recent weeks but still lacks any regular goalscoring threat.

LW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7

Grabbed an assist for Raheem Sterling’s strike and was unlucky to hit the bar early in the second half. Taken off on the hour ahead of his Arsenal reunion on Sunday.

Substitutes

Thiago Silva - 6

Had no problems defensively, but missed a sitter from six yards out with just minutes to go that would have put the game to bed.

Armando Broja - 6

Offered a chance to lay claim to a starting berth, but didn’t really impress.

Conor Gallagher - 7

Added plenty of energy to the Chelsea engine room but squandered a couple of glorious chances.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6

Solid but unspectacular in the middle of the park when coming on.

Christian Pulisic - 7

Instantly came on and made some clever passes to set up his teammates. Will be wondering what he has to do to start games

Dinamo Zagreb

GK- Dominik Livakovic - 8

Made a series of fantastic saves to keep the score at 2-1 when it could have been far worse.

RWB- Sadegh Moharrami - 6

Provided the cross for the Zagreb goal and was solid enough defensively.

CB- Josip Sutalo - 8

Did brilliantly in the Zagreb defence, making blocks and tackles galore.

CB- Dino Peric - 6

Struggled with the movement of the Chelsea side. Would perhaps have preferred a traditional no.9 to mark.

CB- Stefan Ristovski - 6

Solid but unspectacular. Sacrificed after an hour as they sought goals.

LWB- Robert Ljubicic - 5

Struggled throughout the game.

CDM- Josip Misic - 6

Tired as the game went on but did well in the first half.

CM- Arijan Ademi - 5

Worked hard but seemed a yard off the pace.

CM- Luka Ivanusec - 7

Tidy both in defence and attack, but struggled as the game wore on and Chelsea began to dominate.

ST- Bruno Petkovic - 7

Took the goal well and was a handful for the Chelsea defence all game.

ST- Mislav Orsic - 6

Quiet for the most part, and could not continue his goalscoring record against London sides.

Substitutes

Mahir Emreli - 5

Made no difference to the game.

Expert reaction


Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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