Zakaria scores on Chelsea debut in Dinamo Zagreb win

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Denis Zakaria joined Chelsea on loan from Juventus on transfer deadline day

Denis Zakaria scored on his Chelsea debut as the Blues came from behind to round off their successful Champions League Group E campaign with victory against Dinamo Zagreb at Stamford Bridge.

The hosts had already wrapped up top spot with a game to spare but were looking to respond after they were stunned 4-1 in the Premier League by Brighton on Saturday.

They made the worst possible start as they fell behind in the sixth minute when the Blues defence reacted poorly to a cross and Bruno Petkovic was able to head in from close range.

Chelsea initially struggled to create much in response but a well-worked move brought them their equaliser as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang backheeled the ball to Raheem Sterling inside the box and he kept his cool to slot in.

On-loan Juventus midfielder Zakaria then marked a dream debut as he drove in a low shot midway through the first half that squeezed over the line despite a defender’s attempt to clear.

Dinamo needed to win to finish third and go into the Europa League and Edouard Mendy made a good save to deny Bosko Sutalo’s point-blank header early in the second half.

Aubameyang came close to adding a third for Chelsea when he powered a shot against the crossbar and Conor Gallagher was denied late on, but ultimately Zakaria’s goal was enough to seal the win for the Blues.

Chilwell concern for Chelsea and England

With the World Cup in Qatar around the corner, this is a nervous time for many players hoping to feature at the tournament as they look to avoid any late injuries.

This came close to being the perfect night for Chelsea but there was late concern as, deep in stoppage time, full-back Ben Chilwell fell to the floor after clutching his hamstring.

Chilwell looked understandably frustrated once he was able to get to his feet, but he continued to hold the back of his leg before needing assistance from Chelsea’s medical staff to get off the pitch.

England’s World Cup opener is against Iran on 21 November and Chelsea and England will both be hopeful the issue is ultimately not as serious as it looked.

Patience pays off for Zakaria

There was more positive news for Chelsea in the performance of Zakaria, who has had a strange start to his career at Stamford Bridge.

The defensive midfielder was signed on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day from Juventus by previous boss Thomas Tuchel, but he was overlooked for game time by the German and then his replacement Graham Potter.

However, the Switzerland international was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up on Wednesday and he made the most of his chance.

On top of his goal, Zakaria was clearly determined to impress. He produced a busy performance and in the second half he made an excellent tackle to halt a Dinamo attack and immediately send Aubameyang away.

His display should ensure he will not have to endure another long wait to pull on a Chelsea shirt again.

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  1. Squad number16Player nameMendy

  2. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  3. Squad number14Player nameChalobah

  4. Squad number26Player nameKoulibaly

  5. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

  6. Squad number19Player nameMount

  7. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  8. Squad number20Player nameZakaria

  9. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  10. Squad number17Player nameSterling

  11. Squad number9Player nameAubameyang

  1. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  2. Squad number10Player namePulisic

  3. Squad number12Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  4. Squad number18Player nameBroja

  5. Squad number23Player nameGallagher

Dinamo Zagreb

  1. Squad number40Player nameLivakovic

  2. Squad number13Player nameRistovski

  3. Squad number37Player nameSutalo

  4. Squad number55Player namePeric

  5. Squad number27Player nameMisic

  6. Squad number2Player nameMoharrami

  7. Squad number7Player nameIvanusec

  8. Squad number5Player nameAdemi

  9. Squad number14Player nameLjubicic

  10. Squad number9Player namePetkovic

  11. Squad number99Player nameOrsic

  1. Squad number11Player nameEmreli

  2. Squad number18Player nameDrmic

  3. Squad number31Player nameBulat

  4. Squad number77Player nameSpikic



Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 16Mendy
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 14Chalobah
  • 26KoulibalyBooked at 39minsSubstituted forThiago Silvaat 65′minutes
  • 21Chilwell
  • 19Mount
  • 5Jorginho
  • 20ZakariaSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 71′minutes
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forGallagherat 64′minutes
  • 17SterlingSubstituted forPulisicat 83′minutes
  • 9AubameyangSubstituted forBrojaat 64′minutes


  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 10Pulisic
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 18Broja
  • 22Ziyech
  • 23Gallagher
  • 32Cucurella

Dinamo Zagreb

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 40Livakovic
  • 13RistovskiSubstituted forEmreliat 69′minutes
  • 37Sutalo
  • 55Peric
  • 27MisicBooked at 22mins
  • 2MoharramiBooked at 89mins
  • 7IvanusecBooked at 54mins
  • 5AdemiSubstituted forBulatat 83′minutes
  • 14Ljubicic
  • 9PetkovicSubstituted forDrmicat 83′minutes
  • 99OrsicSubstituted forSpikicat 89′minutes


  • 3Stefulj
  • 6Lauritsen
  • 10Baturina
  • 11Emreli
  • 12Bockaj
  • 18Drmic
  • 20Marin
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 31Bulat
  • 33Nevistic
  • 70Menalo
  • 77Spikic

François Letexier

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