Champions League holders Chelsea got their new campaign off to a winning start as they beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday thanks to Romelu Lukaku‘s goal.
Thomas Tuchel’s side struggled to break down the Russian champions in their first Champions League match since beating Manchester City in last year’s final in Porto.
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Zenit created the first meaningful chance on 38 minutes as Yaroslav Rakitskyi curled his effort straight at Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy while Lukaku looped a header over.
Chelsea improved after the break and created three quick chances as Hakim Ziyech, Lukaku and Antonio Rudiger all went close.
The breakthrough came on 69 minutes as Lukaku rose to head home from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross.
Artem Dzyuba almost equalised on 80 minutes as he slid in but couldn’t get enough contact on Sardar Azmoun‘s cross. Mendy temporarily required treatment following the collision.