Chelsea 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb: Player ratings as Zakaria dazzles on Blues debut

Tom Gott
Zakaria scored on his debut
Zakaria scored on his debut / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
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Chelsea secured their 100th Champions League victory on Wednesday evening with a comfortable 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Graham Potter's side had already sealed their spot as group winners but the boss opted for a strong lineup in search of an emphatic response to the recent defeat to Brighton, and it didn't initially look like he would get one.

Bruno Petkovic headed Dinamo ahead seven minutes in, but the Blues responded well and Sterling, who was playing as a striker, tied things up ten minutes later with a composed finish from inside the box.

Kalidou Koulibaly then headed over from a corner before Sterling skied his own effort as Chelsea continued to exert their authority on proceedings.

The lead finally came through debutant Zakaria on the half-hour mark. Lurking on the edge of the box, the loanee fired a low drive which was heading for the net even before the final touch from a desperate defender.

As was the case in the first half, Dinamo began the second with a dangerous header. Josip Sutalo rose highest from a corner but this time, Edouard Mendy down quick enough to push the effort away.

Down the other end, a fierce effort from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the edge of the box came cannoning back off the crossbar.

As the half progressed, Chelsea's dominance faded and Dinamo started to enjoy some nice spells in possession, but the Blues weathered the half-wave and Mason Mount nearly added a third with a free-kick which was well saved by Dominik Livakovic.

Chelsea continued to push for a third and should have had one through Thiago Silva, who had a free shot following a free-kick but somehow sent what should have been a tap-in wide of the post.

Conor Gallagher also saw a point-blank strike kept out by Livakovic late on, with Chelsea forced to settle for just the two goals.


Chelsea player ratings vs Dinamo Zagreb (4-3-1-2)

Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Sterling was back in attack / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

GK: Edouard Mendy - 6/10 - Continues to terrify with his passes but did a decent job with his hands.

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta - 6/10 - A little nervy at both ends of the field but nothing to really be concerned about.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah - 7/10 - Nice and solid at the back. Impressed with his willingness to clear the ball instead of take risks at the back. Won nearly every attacking corner.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly - 7/10 - Shook off an early injury scare to keep Dinamo at bay after a nervy start.

LB: Ben Chilwell - 6/10 - Not on it in the first half but grew into the game as things progressed. Pulled up with a hamstring injury in the dying embers.

CM: Jorginho - 8/10 - Flashed the sort of passing that fans have been crying out for. The Italian looked forward and was trying to bag assists, and Chelsea looked so much better for it.

CM: Denis Zakaria - 8/10 - Impressive at both ends of the field. Won plenty of tackles and made a telling impact in attack before limping off injured. Kept it simple and effective.

CM: Mason Mount - 7/10 - Really intelligent movement to link defence and attack. Did a lot of work off the ball which saw him fly under the radar at times.

AM: Kai Havertz - 7/10 - No idea where he was actually playing but Havertz was evidently loving life in this free-roaming position. Got into so many dangerous positions.

ST: Raheem Sterling - 7/10 - After three games without a shot, Sterling showed why he should never play wing-back again. A lovely finish.

ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7/10 - Not involved as much as he'd like but still found himself playing a role in Chelsea's build-up play.

SUB: Conor Gallagher (64' for Havertz) - 7/10 - Played with attack-minded energy.

SUB: Thiago Silva (64' for Koulibaly) - 6/10 - Wasn't too busy apart from sending a header flying over the bar.

SUB: Armando Broja (64' for Aubameyang) - 6/10 - Played more as a right winger, but still did a decent job.

SUB: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (70' for Zakaria) - 6/10 - Quick feet but a little aimless at times.

SUB: Christian Pulisic (83' for Sterling) - N/A

Manager: Graham Potter - 7/10 - The return to a back four, with a crowded midfield, worked perfectly for Chelsea. Deducted one point for not involving a single academy player even with four open bench spots.

Player of the Match - Denis Zakaria


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