Chelsea start to this year UEFA Champions League was horrible. After an inspiring 2-1 win against West Ham winning from a goal down, many would have thought Zagreb will be an easy encounter.
Chelsea started the proceedings well with Aubameyang coming close to score his first Chelsea goal in his debut but couldn’t capitalise on his Chances.
A terrible corner kick from Chelsea saw Zagreb had it’s first chance of the game and Mislav Orsic finished it off wonderfully to put the home team one goal up after 13 mins.
Chelsea dominated the game but without any clear cut chances. As the game reached it penultimate end, Ziyech, Mount and Reece James came close to equalise for the Blues but their effort was not fruitful.
Here are five things learned from the encounter:
1) Defensive Issues
Chelsea spent over $200m on defensive acquisitions as they signed Cucurella, Koulibaly & Wesley Fofana and yet they’ve struggled to keep a clean sheet this campaign.
Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel were known to be tough to break but that isn’t the case anymore. If Chelsea are to achieve anything this campaign, Tuchel need to sort that defence out, immediately.
2) Squad Depth
Chelsea is definitely one of the teams with incredible squad depth and Todd Boehly ensured he backed Tuchel in the recently closed transfer window. Chelsea had the likes of Jorginho, Cucurella, Ziyech, Pulisic on the bench against Dinamo Zagreb.
Tuchel need to utilise this well as this campaign fixtures are jam-packed.
Edouard Mendy starts to this season has been awful and calls were made to drop him. Against Zagreb, Tuchel listened to those calls as he gave Kepa his first start of the campaign.
It could have been much worse for Chelsea if not for some incredible saves from Kepa. This will be area where Tuchel need to sort.
4) Youth Pedigree
Chelsea academy has been known for producing quality young players yet during the transfer window, Chelsea signed the likes of Slonina & Chukweumeka.
The former was loaned backed to the club he was signed from while the later was named on Chelsea opening Champions League match.
With the likes of Mount & Reece in the squad, Chelsea future look secure.
5) Focal Point
Chelsea have history with forwards not performing after joining them. The team has been lacking a prolific number 9 since Diego Costa left.
Now, Chelsea have Aubameyang and Broja in their ranks to play that role. Kai Havertz, played that role at the closing stage of last season and he clearly struggled.
Both Aubameyang and Broja played against Zagreb with Aubameyang making his Chelsea debut but his performance was below par.
Chelsea need to get him firing to avoid a very disappointing campaign.