Chelsea had to grind out a victory against Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in their group opener. The European champions looked far from their best, but were helped by Romelu Lukaku, who scored his first European goal for Chelsea to win the game.
Having struggled to find any clear cut opportunities against Zenit, Chelsea looked lost for ideas against the Russian side. However, Romelu Lukaku helped ease the pressure at Stamford Bridge by heading his effort off Azpilicueta’s cross in the 69th minute to kick start Chelsea’s European campaign. Speaking to Chelsea’s official website after the win Lukaku expressed his happiness in helping the Blues win the game.
The Belgium international said “I’m really happy with the win against a tough opponent. We really kept the game under control and now we need to keep growing as a team. It was a better team performance than the weekend and I was really happy with the goal and the win.”
“Zenit are a good side. They’ve won a lot of titles in Russia, they are experienced and they are organised. We knew it would be a tough game but I felt we controlled things really well. We created a lot of chances, we stayed patient and got that breakthrough. We won the game and that’s the most important thing.”
“We created a lot of chances, we stayed patient and got that breakthrough. We won the game and that’s the most important thing.”
Praising Azpilicueta for delivering a good cross for his goal, Lukaku said “It was a beautiful ball in from Cesar. I think we have a good understanding, we both know what positions to take up and what areas to put the deliveries into. I knew he would put in the right sort of cross, I just had to get my timing right and find the corner.”
“We’re taking things one game at a time. This was an important win for us and we will enjoy the three points, but now we must focus on a difficult game against Tottenham on Sunday.”
Rudiger, who was impressive in the defence for Chelsea praised Lukaku for his performance against Zenit. The defender added “He is a striker of great class so it’s good to have him around. He has a big personality but for us what is more important is the team and not only the one player.”
“Last season we also had a lot of chances but it is just that we didn’t finish so well but having him, and Timo Werner as well, with their qualities, is very good. Obviously he is important for us scoring goals and of course to have a great player like him is very good but the reason why we won the Champions League last year is we did it as a team.”
Source: Chelsea FC