Saturday Sep 18, 2021
Saturday Sep 18, 2021

Chelsea beat Zenit, Lukaku scores yet again


Nepalnews
2021 Sep 15, 7:41, London
Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku celebrates with his teammate Jorginho after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League Group H soccer match between Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: AP

Four games. Four goals.

Just what was expected of Romelu Lukaku. Just what Chelsea missed so often last season. And just what he couldn’t produce in his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

The striker who couldn’t even get on the field in the Champions League a decade ago for Chelsea is back as the leading target man.

On his European debut for the club, the 28-year-old Belgian ensured Chelsea made a successful start to its Champions League title defense by clinching a 1-0 victory over Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

The goal showed why Chelsea invested a club-record 115 million euros ($135 million in August) in signing from Inter Milan the player it offloaded in 2014 as a peripheral figure.

Lukaku darted into space in the penalty area, evading the defense, to meet a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta and head it into the net in the 69th minute against the Russian champions.

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku heads the ball to score his side's first goal during the Champions League Group H soccer match between Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: AP
Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku heads the ball to score his side's first goal during the Champions League Group H soccer match between Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge stadium in London Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: AP

“That is why he is here,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. “It is another step ahead, because winning and another clean sheet is super important for the belief and for our process. We are not finished, but are in a good place to improve.”

It added to the three goals — including two in Saturday’s win over Aston Villa — Lukaku has already scored in the Premier League this season.

“We have to keep growing. Today was a better performance than the weekend,” Lukaku said. “It was a beautiful ball from Cesar. I just had to get my timing right and then place the ball in the corner.”

Juventus’ goals mean it has the early edge in Group H after beating Malmo 3-0.

As European Cup wins go, Chelsea’s triumph has seemed understated, just as beating Manchester City in the final in May was unexpected.

Coronavirus restrictions denied Chelsea a victory parade in May. There wasn’t even the parading of the trophy around Stamford Bridge before the start of the title defense on Tuesday.

There were, however, individual European season awards handed out to players and Tuchel by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin after an explosion of fireworks above the main stand.

The head of European football received a smattering of jeers from the Chelsea fans, although this isn’t a club with a great grievance against UEFA. Especially as Chelsea fans protested the club’s ill-fated pursuit of a Super League in April that Ceferin opposed.

READ ALSO:

UCL Chelsea Lukaku Europe football sports news

Additional News

Editor's Choice

Nepal's First Online News Portal
Published by Nepalnews Pvt Ltd
Editor: Raju Silwal
Information Department Registration No. 1505 / 076-77

Contact

KMC-02, UttarDhoka,
Lazimpat, Nepal

Newsroom
+977–01–4445751 / 4445754

E-mail
info@nepalnews.com editor@nepalnews.com

Terms of Use Disclaimer
© NepalNews. 2021 All rights reserved. | Nepal's First News Portal