Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea LIVE: Champions League result and score as Blues suffer opening defeat

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Champions League returns tonight with Chelsea in group stage action as they travel to Dinamo Zagreb for the first match of the new campaign. The Blues won this competition in 2021 and are the favourites to beat their Croatian opponents this evening.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have made a stuttering start to the season after defeats to Southampton and Leeds in the Premier League but they earned a comeback victory over London rivals West Ham at the weekend to give them some momentum heading into tonight’s fixture. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival at Stamford Bridge brings some needed firepower to the forward line, and the 33-year-old starts tonight.

Their opponents, Dinamo Zagreb, are the reigning Croatian champions but have never qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League. They should be Chelsea’s easiest opponents in a group also containing AC Milan and RB Salzburg but will prove a tricky test especially in front of their home supporters this evening.

Follow all the action from Chelsea’s Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb:

Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea

  • 13’ GOAL! Mislav Orsic sends Dinamo Zagreb in front against the run of play (DZG 1-0 CHE)

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang makes debut for the Blues

  • Dinamo Zagreb XI: Livakovic, Moharrami, S. Ristovski, Sutalo, Peric, Ljubicic, J. Misic, Ademi, Ivanusec, Orsic, Petkovic

  • Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Fofana, James, Kovacic, Mount, Chilwell, Havertz, Aubameyang, Sterling

GNK Dinamo Zagreb 1 - 0 Chelsea FC

Full-time: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:42 , Michael Jones

90+8 mins: Chelsea are beaten! Their lacklustre start to the season continues in the Champions League as Dinamo Zagreb extend their winning run at the Stadion Maksimir.

Mislav Orsic’s counter-attacking strike was the difference between the teams. Chelsea were wasteful and unconvincing in front of goal.

Dinamo deserved their win and they’re moving to the top of Group E!

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:39 , Michael Jones

90+4 mins: What a bizarre occurrance. Hakim Ziyech catches the ball to take a throw-in only to discover the ball hasn’t actually crossed the line.

Free-kick to Dinamo for handball, not Chelsea’s night at all.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:36 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Eight minutes of added time to play! Eight! That’s bonkers. Where have they found eight minutes from?

There have been plenty of substitutions but time-wasting has been at a minimum and there hasn’t been any lenghty injuries.

Dinamo Zagreb can feel aggrieved about that one. There’s plenty of time for a Chelsea equaliser.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:34 , Michael Jones

88 mins: Dinamo Zagreb’s Bruno Petkovic holds up the ball against Welsey Fofana and draws the young defender into making a foul.

The home side take their time getting the match back underway and they just dink it up the pitch where Marc Cucurella intercepts the ball.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:32 , Michael Jones

85 mins: Incredible from Livakovic!

The Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper leaps across to his left as Reece James fizzes a shot at the near post. He tips it onto the post but Chelsea manage to recycle the ball and flick it into Mason Mount.

Mount hits one on the half-volley and forces another sharp two-handed save from Livakovic who can only palm it across to Ziyech.

Ziyech blasts one back at him and the goalkeeper sticks out his left leg to deny Chelsea a third time in quick succession before the whistle goes for an offside against Ziyech.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:29 , Michael Jones

82 mins: Robert Ljubicic puts in a fantastic block to stop Kai Haverz’s header from inside the six yard box from going into the net. Dinamo Zagreb have left nothing on the pitch and if they claim this victory it’ll be fully deserved.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:24 , Michael Jones

79 mins: A Kai Havertz cross finds Hakim Ziyech who volleys an effort at goal and drives it into the ground where the ball bounces up and over the goal.

It’s just not happening for Chelsea.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:21 , Michael Jones

76 mins: Christian Pulisic is the latest Chelsea man to come onto the pitch and he’s on in place of Raheem Sterling. Dinamo Zagreb are marshalling this game brilliantly.

There are some frustrated men in the Chelsea dugout. They just haven’t been good enough tonight.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:19 , Michael Jones

73 mins: Chelsea’s final third delivery has been adequate at best tonight. This attempted cross from Ziyech is just poor.

Cucurella slots him the ball on the left wing and he’s got enough time to pick out his target in the box. Instead he boots the ball straight out of play.

Time is running out for Chelsea.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:15 , Michael Jones

70 mins: Sutalo nips in front of Havertz and boots the ball out of play as Chelsea look to kick a counter-attack into gear.

Marc Cucurella is brought on to replace Ben Chilwell on the left wing for the Blues as Thomas Tuchel continues to search for answers.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:12 , Michael Jones

67 mins: Ljubicic takes the ball of Broja and sparks an attack for Dinamo Zagreb. They quickly work the ball up to Orsic but he has no time to time before getting smoked by a full-blooded tackle from Koulibaly.

The Chelsea defender dove straight in, took out the man and earned himself a yellow card.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:10 , Michael Jones

64 mins: Mason Mount needs to be careful out there. He’s already on a yellow card and a swipe at Stefan Ristovski almost catches the defender on the side of the head.

Whether Mount meant it is unclear but Ristovski has gone down like sack of pototoes looking the get the Chelsea man sent off. The referee thinks about it but doesn’t issue another card.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:04 , Michael Jones

61 mins: More changes for Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel hooks off Mateo Kovacic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and replces them with Jorginho and Armando Broja.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:03 , Michael Jones

58 mins: Another diagonal ball from Chelsea gets the ball into the box for the Blues where Sterling nods the ball over to Havertz who is waiting inside the area.

Josip Sutalo leaps into the back of Havertz and wins some of the ball but clatters the forward to ground in the process. Chelsea want a penalty but the referee lets play go on.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

19:01 , Michael Jones

55 mins: Save! Dinamo are so close to doubling their lead! Stefan Ristovski blasts one from range and forces Kepa Arrizabalaga into a diving save across to his left.

The Chelsea goalkeeper gets a fingertip to the effort and does just enough to push the ball onto the woodwork!

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:54 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Disallowed goal! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first goal for Chelsea is chalked off!

Mateo Kovacic spies a diagonal run from Ben Chilwell and lifts the ball into the box for the left-back. Chilwell brings it down and dinks it past the goalkeeper.

Aubameyang arrives at the back post and makes sure the ball heads into the net but the offside flag goes up against Chilwell’s initial run. It’s the right decision as the replays show he just set off on his run too soon.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:52 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Hakim Ziyech’s first involvement in the games seems him receive the ball just outside the box and he lets fly with a low left-footed effort that bobbles through the box and is scooped up by Dominik Livakovic.

Second half: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:50 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Thomas Tuchel has made a change at half-time with Cesar Azpilicueta sacrificed to bring on Hakim Ziyech. That change probably means a switch in formation too with the Blues moving to a back four of James, Fofana, Koulibaly and Chilwell.

Sevilla vs Man City

18:44 , Michael Jones

Pep Guardiola last faced Sevilla over ten and a half years ago when he oversaw Barcelona’s 2-0 La Liga victory at Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.

However, the 51-year-old has won only one of his previous seven Champions League away games against Spanish clubs.

He’s named a strong City side with Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland in the forward line. Will they be able to get the job done tonight?

Sevilla vs Man City line-ups

18:42 , Michael Jones

Sevilla XI: Bounou, Carmona, Gudelj, Nianzou, Jesus Navas, Rakitic, Delaney, Acuna, Isco, Gomez, Alex Telles

Man City XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Akanji, Gomez, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Haaland, Grealish

HT Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:39 , Michael Jones


Sevilla vs Man City

18:36 , Michael Jones

Still to come tonight we’ve got action from Manchester City’s trip to Sevilla as they look to get their own Champions League campaign up and running with a victory.

The team news for that one is expected shortly and we’ll bring you updates once Chelsea’s match against Dinamo has concluded.

Half-time: Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:34 , Michael Jones

45+1 mins: The first half comes to an end with Chelsea trailing in Croatia. They dominated the first 10 minutes and looked in complete control of the game before a counter-attack - beautifully finished by Mislav Orsic - sent the home side in front.

After that Dinamo gre in confidence and Thomas Tuchel has a big team talk coming up to turn this around for his team.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:30 , Michael Jones

43 mins: That’s better from Chelsea. Havertz takes the ball up to the box and slips Sterling in on the left side. His first touch lifts the ball to the back post where Aubameyang heads it into a defender before getting flagged offside.

It was a poor effort from Aubameyang but the Blues were more penetrating during that attack.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:28 , Michael Jones

40 mins: Chelsea try the direct route as Mount slides the ball to Havertz who flicks the ball onto Aubameyang. The forward is shoved off the ball by Peric and the Blues’ attack breaks down.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:26 , Michael Jones

37 mins: Petkovic receives the ball in Chelsea’s final third and has the chance to shoot. Instead he tries to to slip Luka Ivanusec into the box but he’s dispossessed by Wesley Fofana.

The ball is played out to Mason Mount but he’s tackled from behind by Arijan Ademi who is determined to recover possession for Dinamo.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:24 , Michael Jones

34 mins: Nothing has worked for Chelsea since they went behind. The goal has completely freed up Dinamo Zagreb who look like the more in control side at present in spite of Chelsea dominance in possession.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:19 , Michael Jones

31 mins: Save! When Dinamo have gotten up the pitch in this half they’ve thrown men up there to provide options before sprinting back to reshape the defence.

Arijan Ademi receives the ball on the inside right channel just outside the box. His first touch allows the ball to bounce up nicely and he drills a shot at goal forcing Kepa Arrizabalaga into a sharp save to his right.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:16 , Michael Jones

28 mins: Close! Orsic flicks a Dinamo free kick into the box for Petkovic who chests the ball down and backheels it into the path of Orsic who has driven into the box.

He takes a touch to roll the ball onot his right foot before curling an effort wide of the far post!

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:14 , Michael Jones

25 mins: Chelsea continue to sweep up the pitch but the quality isn’t there in the final third... yet.

Mateo Kovacic slides the ball wide to Reece James and his cross is blocked by the first defender and rebounds out for a throw in. James himself takes it but he’s flagged offside when the ball is knocked back to him and the attacked breaks down.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:10 , Michael Jones

22 mins: Here’s Mislav Orsic putting the home side in front. Chelsea are yet to respond with a proper chance on goal.


Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:08 , Michael Jones

19 mins: Chelsea have dominated these early stages having 72% of possession. The ball pinballs inside the Dinamo box but the Blues are unable to create a chance to shoot.

Dominik Livakovic hasn’t been troubled in the Dinamo goal yet.

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

18:05 , Michael Jones

16 mins: Chelsea look to respond immediately and win a corner on the left hand side. Ben Chilwell delivers it into the box but Dino Peric leaps in front of Kalidu Koulibaly and heads it over to Robert Ljubicic.

Ljubicic looks to turn and run the ball out of danger but he’s hit from behind by Raheem Sterling who bundles him to ground and gives away a free kick.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea (13’, Orsic)⚽️

18:00 , Michael Jones

13 mins: Dinamo Zagreb take the lead! It’s massively against the run of play but the home side get the better of Chelsea on the counter-attack.

A long ball is booted up to Bruno Petkovic who flicks the ball on to Mislav Orsic. Orsic nods the ball past Wesley Fofana and sprints past the centre-back to carry the ball into the box.

Kepa Arrizabalaga flies out and tries to close down the striker but he pokes the ball past the goalkeeper and watches as it rolls over the line.

Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Chelsea

17:59 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Mason Mount shimmies his way down the right wing before coming inside and lifting a cross into the middle towards Raheem Sterling.

Stefan Ristovski is there to rise above the forward and head it clear.

Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Chelsea

17:56 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Close! Chelsea’s front three are linking up brilliantly. Raheem Sterling brings the ball down the left side before drifting into a more central area as Kai Havertz comes forward on an overlapping run.

Sterling slots him the ball and he squares it into the six-yard box for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang is caught on his heels and his lunge towards the ball doesn’t reach allowing it safely through the box where Dinamo clear the lines.

Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Chelsea

17:54 , Michael Jones

6 mins: As expected, Chelsea are dominating the ball in the early stages and are working hard to keep Dinamo pegged back in their own half.

Reece James closes down Robert Ljubicic and wins the ball high up the pitch. Chelsea work it across to Raheem Sterling who slides it into the box to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The new striker shifts away from a defender and has the chance to shoot, instead he pulls it back to Sterling whose effort is blocked just as the offside flag goes up against Aubameyang.

Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Chelsea

17:50 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Reece James whips Chelsea’s first cross into the Dinamo box but lifts it over everyone’s heads and sends Ben Chilwell racing to recover the loose ball.

He collects it and knocks it backwards as the home side push out and force Chelsea to retreat.

Kick off: Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Chelsea

17:47 , Michael Jones

Chelsea get the match underway and work the ball over tothe right side where Kai Havertz attempts to keep it in play but can’t bring the ball properly under control.

Dinamo Zagreb win an early throw in.

Tuchel wary of ‘winners’ Dinamo Zagreb

17:39 , Michael Jones

“Dinamo are used to winning and that shapes a certain mentality,” said Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel. “They deserve to be here and will play a very technical, emotional game against us. That’s always difficult.”

Dinamo Zagreb have won the Croatian title for five years in a row and they are unbeaten in eight league games this season.

Chelsea draw level with Arsenal

17:35 , Michael Jones

Chelsea are featuring in the Champions League for the 19th time moving them level with Arsenal and behind only Manchester United (24) for most participations by an English club.

The Blues are one of only two English teams to win the Champions League since 2008 having lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2021.

Liverpool won it in 2019 defeating Tottenham 2-0 in the final.

Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea

17:32 , Michael Jones

Warm-ups underway in Croatia. Will Chelsea be victorious tonight?

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel laughs off concern over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time-keeping after Arsenal exit

17:30 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel has laughed off concerns about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time-keeping, after the striker was forced out of Arsenal for multiple breaches of discipline last season.

Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy by manager Mikel Arteta after reporting back a day late following a period of leave, an incident which Arteta claimed was far from isolated.

The Gabonese international had his Arsenal contract terminated and joined Barcelona in January, but found himself surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp this season and made a surprise return to the Premier League on deadline day when he signed for Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel laughs off concern over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time-keeping

‘This is a celebration for us’ says Cacic

17:25 , Michael Jones

Dinamo Zagreb coach Ante Cacic says his team don’t feel any pressure playing in the Champions League this season and are instead looking to celebrate playing against the biggest clubs in Europe.

“I don’t feel any pressure, I did my job by reaching the group stage.” he said, “This is a celebration for us. Big clubs are coming to play us. We have a duty to be ourselves and take our chances.

“We are playing a match that we really wanted to play. It’s our reward for winning the title. This is a great pleasure for us and I’m sure that we will all benefit from this competition, players and fans.

“We are not the favourites in any game, but in every game we will look for our chance. This is not a knockout game: we have to look forward to it and learn from it.”

‘The Champions League is a big challenge’

17:19 , Michael Jones

Dinamo’s Mislav Oršić spoke to Uefa.com about how it feels to be back playing in Europe’s best competition and he said: “The Champions League is a very big challenge for us.

“We know we were very competitive in the Europa League – we could compete against everyone. This is a step up for us.

“We will do our best to be competitive in the Champions League.”


Here come the Blues

17:13 , Michael Jones

Chelsea have arrived at the Stadion Maksimir and will soon be heading out for a warm-up. Thomas Tuchel has named an attacking side for this Champions League opener.

Will it pay off for Chelsea?

Thomas Tuchel backs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to end Chelsea’s striker jinx

17:07 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel has backed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to “create his own history” and break the number nine curse at Chelsea.

Chelsea completed a £10million deadline-day deal for Aubameyang, reuniting the 33-year-old with his old Dortmund boss Tuchel.

Aubameyang scored 79 goals in 95 appearances under Tuchel at Dortmund, before switching to Arsenal in 2018.

The Gabon striker was stripped of the Gunners captaincy by Mikel Arteta in December 2021 amid disciplinary issues before moving to Barcelona earlier this year.

Chelsea boss Tuchel joked earlier this summer that his players were scared of the number nine shirt, with the striker’s jersey left vacant after Romelu Lukaku’s loan return to Inter Milan.

Thomas Tuchel backs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to end Chelsea’s striker jinx

Back in the Champions League

17:01 , Michael Jones

This is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first Champions League game since 2017 when he was at Borussia Dortmund.

He only played in the Europa League with Arsenal and Barcelona.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea latest odds

16:55 , Michael Jones

Chelsea are the odds on favourites to defeat Dinamo Zagreb in tonight’s Champions League opener but they are well down in the rankings of potential tournament winners.

Once again Manchester City are the favourites to lift the trophy before a ball has been kick with Betfair’s latest odds putting them at 9/4 to win the trophy - Erling Haaland’s arrival this summer may have something to do with that.

PSG are the second favourites at 5/1 more than double the odds on last year’s winner Real Madrid who are currently going at a 10/1 to repeat their heroics from last season.

Latest odds on Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea

Dinamo Zagreb: 13/2

Draw: 7/2

Chelsea: 4/9

Latest odds for Champions League winner 2022/23

Man City: 9/4

PSG: 5/1

Liverpool: 6/1

Bayern Munich: 13/2

Real Madrid: 10/1

Barcelona: 12/1

Tottenham: 14/1

Chelsea: 18/1

Petkovic aiming for knockouts

16:49 , Michael Jones

Dinamo Zagreb forward, Bruno Petković, believes his team can reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League this season which is a feat the Croatian side have never accommplished.

He told UEFA.com: “I consider myself a very competitive person. Our goal is to advance to the next round. We will go game by game, and I think we can achieve great things this season.”

Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang end ‘curse’ of Chelsea’s No 9 shirt?

16:43 , Michael Jones

Chelsea have handed new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the number nine shirt after manager Thomas Tuchel recently joked his players think it is “cursed”.

The last 11 players to wear the shirt – including three club record signings up front, but also a holding midfielder and a defender – have struggled to make a prolonged impact at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed!” said Tuchel last month. “There was not a big demand for number nine, nobody wants to touch it.”

Here we look back at the trend ex-Arsenal man Aubameyang will try to buck:

Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang end ‘curse’ of Chelsea’s No 9 shirt?

Chelsea team changes

16:37 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel makes six changes to the Chelsea line-up from the team that faced West Ham at the weekend. Cesar Azpilicueta brings some experience to the back three alongside Wesley Fofana and Kalidu Koulibaly whilst Mason Mount is recalled into the midfield.

Ben Chilwell starts ahead of Marc Cucurella and Kai Havertz is recalled with Christian Pulisic dropping to the bench.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also starts and makes his debut for Chelsea.

Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea line-ups

16:29 , Michael Jones

Dinamo Zagreb XI: Livakovic, Moharrami, S. Ristovski, Sutalo, Peric, Ljubicic, J. Misic, Ademi, Ivanusec, Orsic, Petkovic

Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueata, Fofana, Koulibaly, James, Kovacic, Mount, Chilwell, Havertz, Aubameyang, Sterling

Čačić excited for ‘biggest match of my career'

16:28 , Michael Jones

The Champions League returns to the Stadion Maksimir tonight after a three-year absence and Dinamo Zagreb head coach, Ante Čačić, is excited for the game.

“When I see everything that this match brings, I can say this is the biggest match of my career.” he said.

It is the first time in Chelsea’s history that they have faced Croatian opposition and it is also Thomas Tuchel’s centenary appearance as head coach of the London side.

Chelsea early team news

16:22 , Michael Jones

It remains to be seen whether Edouard Mendy will recover in time from the controversial collision with Jarrod Bowen which led to West Ham’s late equaliser being ruled out. “He was in a lot of pain, and we have to see,” Tuchel said after the game.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is training wearing a mask after his jaw was broken during a burglary at his Barcelona home last week, and has travelled with the squad as he waits for his Chelsea debut.

Fellow new recruit Denis Zakaria could also make his debut and is included in the squad but Thiago Silva has been left at home to rest and N’Golo Kante is recovering from a hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature.

Predicted line-up: Kepa; Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell; Sterling, Havertz, Mount.

Thomas Tuchel must seize chance to inspire more proactive Chelsea after ‘restart’ against West Ham

16:17 , Michael Jones

After all the unnecessary noise about VAR, Thomas Tuchel at least – and at last – offered one assessment that was rather clear.

“We wanted to restart our season today,” the Chelsea manager said after the visit of West Ham United. “And we did.”

It could have been so much worse, and not just because they initially went 1-0 down and looked rather leaden for so much of this 2-1 win. It was how it would have put Tuchel under serious pressure, and looking devoid of ideas, just at a point when the new Chelsea owners had put far more trust in him – and given him far greater influence – than any of the club’s modern managers.

The performance was made all the worse by the fact that the German had deliberately made his side much more defensive, a response to the mistakes made in the 2-1 defeat to Southampton on Wednesday.

Far from a restart, then, the match threatened to be a regression and maybe a total tailspin.

Thomas Tuchel must seize chance to inspire more proactive Chelsea after ‘restart’

Returning home

16:11 , Michael Jones

Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić spent six years at Dinamo Zagreb at the start of his career and was aged just 16 years and 198 days when he scored on his debut in 2010.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea target 100 wins

16:04 , Michael Jones

Chelsea are targeting a 100th victory in the Champions League - including qualifying matches - and need just two goals to reach 200 in all-time European away games.

Will they reach these landmarks tonight?

Tuchel on facing Dinamo Zagreb

15:58 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel spoke in the build-up to tonight’s fixture about how he believes the home side could cause Chelsea plenty of problems this evening.

“[They have] a lot of individual quality,” he explained. “Up front and on the wings they have speed and dribbling. They will use the role as an underdog to over-perform and make us under-perform.

“This will be their plan. We are aware of that.”

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel relieved transfer window is shut after £273m spend

15:52 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel has hailed the “immense boost” of the transfer window being shut and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s tentative steps into Chelsea training.

Chelsea set a one-window British spending record of £273million as new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali overhauled the Blues’ playing resources.

New chairman Boehly has acted as interim sporting director, with manager Tuchel holding a key influence on transfer decisions. Barcelona signing Aubameyang was due to start Chelsea training on Sunday, to try out a custom-made protective face mask.

The 33-year-old suffered a broken jaw during a recent home invasion but is determined not to let the attack keep slowing down his start at Chelsea.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel relieved transfer window is shut after £273m spend

A busy schedule

15:46 , Michael Jones

Excepting a week in September for an international break, Chelsea will be in midweek-weekend action from now until mid-November as they compete in the Champions League group stages alongside their domestic Premier League games.

This is due to the winter break that will see the World Cup played in November-December this year because temperatures in host nation Qatar are too hot during the summer.

The playing schedule has been adjusted and crammed together to accommodate the tournament moving to winter and such is the intensity that while Chelsea’s group-stage campaign last season lasted 86 days in will take just 58 to complete this year.

Semi-automated technology to be used in Champions League

15:40 , Michael Jones

This season’s Champions League will feature the use of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) to reduce delays and discrepancies on refereeing decisions.

Chelsea featured in a trail run for the SAOT during their FIFA Club World Cup triumph and it is hoped that the system can help cut out contentious decisions on the pitch.

It combines the tracking of 29 body parts with the use of a microchip in the ball to help detect offsides that may not be clear on the initial viewing.

A tricky start for Chelsea

15:34 , Michael Jones

On paper Dinamo Zagreb seem to be the easiest opponents Chelsea will face in the Champions League group stages this year but they are by no means easy to beat... especially at home.

The Croatian champions are unbeaten at Stadion Maksimir in 19 matches across all competitions with 16 wins and three draws in that run.

Can the Blues upset their streak or will Zagreb prove stubborn opponents and shock Thomas Tuchel’s side this evening?

New deals for Reece James and Mason Mount ‘would be two most important signings’

15:28 , Michael Jones

Jody Morris believes sealing new long-term contracts for Reece James and Mason Mount could prove Chelsea’s biggest signings of a record-breaking summer.

England wing-back James is understood to be close to completing a new long-term deal to stay at Chelsea, with talks on a similar extension for Mount thought to be progressing positively too.

Real Madrid have had James in their sights as a long-term target, but the Bernabeu giants will see any current designs on the 22-year-old thwarted by Chelsea securing a new deal for one of their brightest talents.

Chelsea spent more than £270m in a record transfer window spree, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the final high-profile addition on Thursday.

New deals for Reece James and Mason Mount ‘would be two most important signings’

Kovacic returns to Zagreb

15:22 , Michael Jones

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic started his career at Dinamo Zagreb and played for the club from 2010-13. He says he got a different feeling when returning to his former team with Chelsea for tonight’s Champions League clash.

“As soon as I landed [in Zagreb], I got a different feeling.” said the 28-year-old. “I saw people I haven’t seen for a long time. Only now do I see how much time has passed since I left. It’s a pleasure to play here. I’m a Dinamo fan, but now I’m on the other side.”

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Aubameyang to play a part

15:16 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel says he has invited Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang "to prove a point" following his £10.3m move from Barcelona on deadline day.

Aubameyang has been training in a mask after suffering a jaw injury during a violent robbery at his Barcelona home last week before he returned to London to join Chelsea.

Tuchel says the 33-year-old Gabonese striker has to be "managed" and "needs minutes to get his full fitness and rhythm" because he has only played eight minutes for Barca this season.

The German added: "He cannot play 90 minutes so it’s on us to find a solution if he comes from the bench or he starts."

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Thiago Silva to miss Champion League opener

15:12 , Michael Jones

37-year-old Thiago Silva will miss Chelsea’s opening Champions League fixture after manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed the defender has remained in London to manage his workload.

"We decided with Thiago he will have a break from the travelling and the stress after playing every minute in very intense matches so far," he said.

"It was the moment to give him a break instead of putting him on the bench and have the travel issues so he can take care of his recovery.”

Tuchel added that tonight’s match offered an opportunity to bring all the first team squad which includes new recruit Denis Zakaria who has travelled to Croatia.

"We had the opportunity to take everybody who is in training and is available, and that includes Denis." said the Chelsea boss.

Thomas Tuchel set for fresh test in Champions League with Chelsea

15:09 , Michael Jones

There are few who seem less comfortable with the concept of the heroic near-miss than Thomas Tuchel. The chances are that he is likelier to deem it unacceptable. When Chelsea’s defence of their Champions League trophy ended in glorious failure, beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu after a magnificent comeback, but eliminated on aggregate by another, Tuchel cut a bad-tempered figure, complaining that referee Szymon Marciniak had smiled, laughed and had a good time with Real manager Carlo Ancelotti.

And if he might have inadvertently offered an insight into the amiable Ancelotti’s enduring success, the 2021 and 2022 Champions League-winning managers represent opposites. They showed there are very different ways to conquer Europe: Real spent much of the knockout stages trailing and their aggregate scores alone – 3-2, 5-4, 6-5 – conveyed some of the sense of the drama in their progress to Paris. Chelsea scored more goals in Madrid alone than they conceded – a mere two – in seven knockout matches the previous year.

That pyrrhic 3-2 triumph feels like their last great performance under Tuchel. There have been too few victories of any kind since then: just seven in 16 matches in all competitions. Few have had a good time at Stamford Bridge: certainly not Tuchel, who has cut an irascible figure at various stages, even if Chelsea’s seemingly scattergun spending has brought a few smiles to faces elsewhere.

Thomas Tuchel set for fresh test in Champions League with Chelsea

Dinamo Zagreb vs Chelsea

15:06 , Michael Jones

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of tonight’s Champions League action. The new campaign kicks off in Croatia as Chelsea travel to face Dinamo Zagreb in Tuesday night’s early kick off.

The match gets underway at 5:45pm and we’ll be bringing you the line-ups and news from Europe’s top competition as we build-up to the start.

Chelsea have made a less than perfect start to the season as they try to solve their problems in front of goal and at the back. The Blues have looked uncharacteristically shaky in the Premier League thus far and have already slumped to defeats against Leeds and Southampton. They controversially beat West Ham 2-1 at the weekend after VAR cancelled out Maxwel Cornet’s late equaliser and sit sixth in the table with a negative goal difference.

Manager Thomas Tuchel hopes that 33-year-old striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be the answer to the Blues lack of ruthlessness in the final third and the former Arsenal striker looks set to play a part in tonight’s match whether as a starter or coming off the bench later on.