Chelsea endure shock defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League

(Football news) Despite Chelsea’s struggles this season, few would have predicted that the Blues would suffer a defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Champions League match. A first half strike by Mislav Orsic was enough to secure a win for the hosts as Chelsea was caught napping in the 13th minute when the 29 year old Croatian received the ball from teammate Bruno Petkovic and dinked the ball over keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Dinamo Zagreb then went on to hold on to their lead despite a flurry of chances from Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

In team news, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his debut for Chelsea, wearing a face mask to protect his broken jaw from a home invasion. Edouard Mendy was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga as the Senegalese international is currently struggling with form. Manager Thomas Tuchel opted for a back three with captain Cesar Azpilicueta while Mason Mount had a deeper role in midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic. Aubameyang came closest to levelling the score as the Gabonese international found the back of the net only for it to be called offside. Ben Chilwell was marginally offside when he received a diagonal pass by Mateo Kovacic and the 25 year old set the ball up for Aubameyang who tapped it in, only for the goal to be disallowed.

It seems that Chelsea are entering a crisis situation as the team have now lost three consecutive away matches under Thomas Tuchel. The German manager was in-charge of his 100th game for the Blues and in his first 50 games, Chelsea conceded only 24 goals while the club conceded 53 goals in his last 50 games. With new ownership this summer and a record sum of £273m spent in the summer transfer window, the pressure will be firmly on Tuchel in order to turn the situation around or potentially lose his job. The German will be worried by the lack of desire shown by his team in the season so far and it would be interesting to see how things might change for the Blues.

Speaking after the match, Thomas Tuchel said “I'm angry at myself. I'm angry at our performance. It's not aggressive enough on the ball, it's not enough individually or enough as a team. Not a lot [of players are playing at the top of their game]. It's obvious that we're underperforming. It's a lack of determination. A lack of hunger and intensity. You cannot expect to win games. We are clearly nowhere near where we want to be. I just know that I need time to digest it and find solutions. It's a story of the last games – we start okay. But then we lack precision. We lack the smell of blood. It's clearly my job to analyse it. 

“Clearly we need to be much better. We are not happy with our results. We are not happy with our performances. I'm a bit surprised by this performance today. I didn't see it coming. Obviously I was in the wrong movie. I thought that the last game helped us, we showed a reaction against West Ham. Had good training sessions. I thought the team was prepared. I didn't see it coming. That's why I know I'm angry with myself. There is no day off in the next few days, don't worry. There cannot be a day off at the moment."

Also read: Miralem Pjanic is leaving Barca to join UAE side Sharjah FC


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