Chelsea lost their first match of the 2022/23 Champions League campaign to Dinamo Zagreb despite Coach Tuchel swapping formations mid-game.
Most people outside the SW London/Surrey delta would agree that Chelsea got a little lucky against West Ham at the weekend. Thomas Tuchel has not been the happiest of coaches thus far.
Even while Dinamo were seen as no pushovers—having defeated Shkupi, Ludogorets Razgrad, and Bodo/Glimt to advance to the group stage of the Champions League, which Chelsea won barely 18 months ago, ought to have offered some solace.
You may remember that they defeated Spurs in the Europa League back in 2021 as well. and defeated West Ham and Sevilla in the same competition the year before.
Aubameyang made his debut, as he was able to participate in the game despite having a jaw issue. It was intended to be a stunner to watch Chelsea with a real center forward.
Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz provided assistance, and Thomas Tuchel lined up his normal three defenders and wingbacks in front of them.
This was “Auba’s” first Champions League match since 2017, having previously played at Dortmund, Arsenal, and Barcelona.
Despite all of this, Dinamo Zagreb held on to win their first game of the season without The Blues being able to break them.
Kai Havertz cut in from the left during an early attack down the left before the ball was returned to Chilwell, who was playing in place of Cucurella.
Chelsea controlled the ball for the majority of the game. Unfortunately, the Premier League club lost the ball on the edge of the Dinamo box in the 13th minute, at which point Orsic fled from his own half.
Orsic sprinted past Fofana on Petkovic’s exquisite pass, and as Kepa drew closer, he tapped the ball beyond the goalie.
What a goal, and what a surprise it was for Chelsea as the ball rolled into the net!
In the second half, Chelsea scored, but it was disallowed for offside. Kovacic passed the ball to Chilwell, who was able to connect the ball to Aubameyang who scored a tap-in.
Afterward, Dinamo Zagreb employed time-wasting tactics. Chelsea’s coaching crew led by coach Thomas Tuchel yelled at the top of his lungs to complain over the tactics and once more received a booking. At the end of the day, the game ended 1-0 in favor of Dinamo Zagreb.
What a significant victory for Zagreb; they merit the three points and the praise. They were superior to Chelsea, who were terrible despite how star-studded the squad was.
In most parts of the game, Reece James is arguably the only Chelsea player that played close to the standard expected of the Premier League side.
Even though Chelsea played with a natural center forward, the club struggled to capitalize on opportunities. Thus, Thomas Tuchel and the team have a lot of work to do this season.