Denis Zakaria scores winner on Chelsea debut in victory over Dinamo Zagreb2 min read
Denis Zakaria scored the winner on his Chelsea debut as the Blues recorded a fourth straight Champions League win with a 2-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb at Stamford Bridge.
Zakaria has struggled to break into the first team since joining on loan from Juventus in the last transfer window but his 30th-minute strike proved decisive after Raheem Sterling had cancelled out Bruno Petkovic’s opener.
The Blues had already secured progression to the knockout stages as Group E winners prior to Wednesday’s clash, where goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic impressed to keep Dinamo in the game in the second half.
Dinamo could not muster a comeback, though, and were eliminated from Europe after finishing bottom, while Chelsea responded in encouraging fashion after a 4-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Petkovic headed Dinamo into a seventh-minute lead after Chelsea failed to deal with Sadegh Moharrami’s right-wing cross but the Blues soon levelled.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flicked for Sterling to dance onto his left foot and coolly find the bottom-left corner.
Sterling missed a great chance when he powered Kai Havertz’s centre over from close range, but Zakaria fired into the bottom-left corner from a similar distance after another cutback pass from the German to put Chelsea ahead.
Edouard Mendy pushed away Josip Sutalo’s header after the interval, while Livakovic parried over an Aubameyang curler before Ben Chilwell blasted just off target from a tight angle.
Mason Mount’s whipped free-kick was denied by another fine Livakovic stop in the closing stages as Chelsea eased to victory.