Late Strike By Zenit’s Ozdoev Denies Chelsea Top Spot In Group H


It was the lack of attention to detail that let Chelsea down again. It could also be down to a lack of attitude. Though the European Champions got away this time, they unsurprisingly relinquished the top spot to Juventus in Group H after a chaotic 3-all draw against Zenit St. Petersburg.

An early Timo Werner goal from the Blues promised to be a good start as he tapped in from a corner within two minutes from the start. It appeared that Chelsea has returned to the top as they dominated the game and created chances.

The Chelsea defense was also ably manned by Malang Sarr, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Andreas Christensen. Thomas Tuchel made several changes in the lineup. Kepa Arrizabalaga came in under the bars while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Saul manned the defensive flanks. Recce James and Ross Barkley manned the central midfield. Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, and Timo Werner made up the attacking trio.

Sitting Tight After Taking A Lead Proved To Be Chelsea’s Undoing

It would have been the same decision to keep possession of the ball and increase the slender margin. But Chelsea let Zenit control the midfield and stuck to defense. Kepa made an important save to deny Zenit from a Malcolm breakthrough.

Zenit piled up the attacks and eventually got one in after a defensive blunder by the Blues allowed the Brazilian a free run in the box. He had been pulling the strings, but finally, he turned the executioner. The second goal too came in from the hosts as Sardar Azmoun had only Kepa to beat after another defensive failure to set up an offside trap.

A nice combination between Werner, Barkley, and Lukaku led them into the box as the Belgian followed the German into the box to increase the scoreline. Zenit got back into the attacking mode after that but their attack clearly lacked the sharpness of the first half.

An incisive pass from Christian Pulisic to Wenger helped the German evade his marker and put Chelsea ahead again. But the scoreline was not to stay as Magomed Ozdoev put one back with a stunning volley from outside the box. Tuchel was left bemoaning Chelsea’s lack of focus.

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