Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea was not one for the Premier League visitors, as Mislav Orsic’s first-half goal helped the Croatian hosts to a 1-0 win on Tuesday in both clubs’ 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage debut.
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Thomas Tuchel was raging after the defeat, as Orsic was cool while the Chelsea defense made several mistakes that led to his 13th-minute goal.
To be fair, Tuchel was raging before the goal as well and he finished the day with a yellow card and a spot in the basement of Group A, as Red Bull Salzburg drew AC Milan in Austria.
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“I’m angry at myself, I’m angry about our performance,” Tuchel said, via Football.London. “This is a huge underperformance from all of us. It’s not precise enough. It’s not clinical enough. It’s not aggressive enough on the ball. It’s not determined enough. It’s not good enough individually. It’s not good enough as a team.”
Chelsea kept 68 percent of the ball and took 15 of the game’s 21 shots but only coaxed three saves out of Dinamo keeper Dominik Livakovic.
To make things worse, Tuchel claims Dinamo didn’t surprise him at all; The Blues were prepared and did not execute his plan.
“We expected what we got,” Tuchel said. “It was the story of the last few games: We start okay for 15-20 minutes but then lacked determination, precision and maybe even lacked the smell of blood.”
He was asked why he was angry with himself.
“Because I didn’t see it coming,” Tuchel said. “Obviously I was in the wrong movie. I did not see that coming.” (NM)
Dinamo Zagreb goal video: Orsic opens scoring vs Chelsea
👏 Brilliant run and finish from Orsic, but this is so poor defensively from Chelsea.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) September 6, 2022
How to watch Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea live and start time
The Blues are among the favorites to win the Champions League after their success in the 2020-21 season and then being knocked out at the quarterfinal stage last season by eventual winners Real Madrid. However, they have a lot of new players bedding in after a busy summer of ins and outs. Tuchel has been backed heavily in the transfer market by new co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly and it will take these players a few months to gel as a unit. Adding Denis Zakaria and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on deadline day was a bonus and both have traveled with the Chelsea squad to Croatia and could make their debuts. However, Chelsea have to improve defensively and despite some injuries in midfield, Tuchel will want to see his side step things up considerably after a slow start to the new season. There is a whiff of an upset in the air as this will be a tricky trip to a fired up Dinamo Zagreb who have nothing to lose. (JPW)
The lowdown on Dinamo Zagreb
Zagreb came through the qualifying rounds and beat North Macedonian side Shkupi narrowly in the second qualifying round before beating Ludogorets and then Bodo/Glimt in extra time in the playoffs to reach the group stage. Domestically they are unbeaten and currently sit top of the Croatian top-flight after seven wins from their opening eight games. But the last six times they’ve reached the Champions League group stage they’ve finished bottom of their group on every occasion, winning just three of their last 36 games in the group stage. Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is returning to the club where his career began and he’s a hero at Dinamo and in Croatia. Bruno Petkovic and Mislva Orsic are the forwards to watch out for. (JPW)
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
With Aubameyang and Zakaria able to make their debuts, Chelsea’s starting lineup looks very different with new signings Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling all starting. N’Golo Kante remains out injured, while veteran center back Thiago Silva hasn’t traveled to Zagreb. Ben Chilwell starts over Marc Cucurella after having a huge impact off the bench in their win against West Ham at the weekend but USMNT star Christian Pulisic drops to the bench with Aubameyang, Sterling and Havertz starting in attack. (JPW)
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 6, 2022