ZAGREB (Reuters) – Dinamo Zagreb claimed a shock victory over Chelsea in their Champions League group stage opener on Tuesday as they beat the 2021 European champions 1-0 at home thanks to a blistering solo run from Croatian forward Mislav Orsic.
Zagreb had conceded in every home game in the league this season but kept a clean sheet against the Premier League side, who have now lost three of their last five matches in all competitions.
Zagreb opened the scoring against the run of play when Orsic was sent through on goal on a solo counter-attack, outrunning Chelsea’s new recruit Wesley Fofana and beating goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a delicate touch.
Chelsea had created scoring opportunities in the opening stages but were deflated by the goal and Thomas Tuchel’s side looked short of ideas in front of a resolute Zagreb defence.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his debut alongside Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz in the front line but they failed to click while Arrizabalaga was called into action twice to deny Zagreb, the second an acrobatic save to parry a shot from distance.
Chelsea did not threaten in the box until Tuchel made all five substitutions but Zagreb held firm. Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic also made a crucial reflex save from a stinging Mason Mount shot late in the game.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)