Orsic’s first-half goals for Dinamo Zagreb settled matters in one of the round’s potentially shocking results — 1-0 win to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.
In all honesty, Chelsea had chances to equalize the game at least, but something just didn’t feel right about the way Chelsea played or carried about themselves all through.
Chelsea gave starts to new signing, Aubameyang, but, it was a mostly quite outing from the former FC Barcelona forward.
Off to the game we go and Aubameyang set up sterling in the 6th minute, but his shot was blocked. The linesman raised his flag for offside anyway.
Havertz’s sweeping cross to Aubameyang in the 9th minute would have been a tap in, but the Gabonese stepped on the brakes when he should have completed his run and shot.
Shortly after, Aubameyang has a glorious chance to score but chose to fish out his teammate instead; a choice that proved wrong with the keeper in close range.
In the 13th minute, against the run of play, M. Orsic had too much pace for Fofana in a counter attack before racing through on goal and slotting past Kepa.
Dinamo tried again, this time from lone range, but shot in the 30th minute was parried by Kepa.
By the 40th minute mark, the game was been played at a pedestrian pace which suited Dinamo more. Chelsea couldn’t even fashion how to break down.
In the 42nd minute, Chelsea thought they should have had a penalty when Aubameyang’s nodder was handled by a Dinamo player, but the striker was already offside.
Dinamo broke on another counter attack in the 44th minute but ended with Orsic’s shot blocked by the Chelsea defence.
The first-half ended, 1-0 to the home side. A most shocking results on paper.
Before the restart, Tuchel made a tactical switch, replacing defender, Azpilicueta, with winger, Hakim Ziyech.
Thus, the shape changed to a 4-2-3-1 formation: A more attacking outlook.
Havertz’s brilliant dribble down the right flank produced a teasing cross that was just missed by Aubameyang.
Chelsea thought they had got a goal back in the 49th minute when Chilwell received a through pass from Kovacic and laid on for Aubameyang to tap in.
The goal was chalked off, with Chilwell, rightly adjudged to be offside.
Ristovski almost doubled the lead in the 56th minute, but his long range strike was parried onto the crossbar by Kepa in goal for Chelsea.
Chelsea were desperate by now and it showed in their double change in the 59th minute: Jorginho coming in for Kovacic and Broja replacing Aubameyang.
Broja almost made an instant impact but his cross in the box was smartly saved by the Dinamo goalie.
Ziyech kept trying lofted balls into the Zagreb box but none came to fruition.
Chelsea had a rare chance to hit Zagreb on the break in the 70th minute but Havertz dilled and dallied and was intercepted despite having loads of time to pick out one of Chelsea’s on-rushing players.
A minute after, Cucurella replaced Chilwell from the bench.
Pulisic replaced Raheem Sterling in the 75th minute.
A double change by Zagreb saw Spikic replace the goal scorer, Orsic and Sadegh Moharrami replaced by Rasmus Lauritsen.
It was agonizing to, then, see Ziyech get his volley horribly wrong after being picked out by Kai Havertz in the 78th minute.
Chelsea’s frustrations were summed up when Head Coach, Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea should really have scored in the 82nd minute but Havertz’s header was intercepted by the head of Robert Ljubicic.
Reece James’ canon shot came off the foot of the bar in the 86th minute.
A while later, Mason Mounts shot was parried, but Ziyech’s follow up was ruled offside.
8 minutes were given for additional time, hope for Chelsea.
In the 5th minute of added time, Ziyech’s free-kick was blocked by the Zagreb wall.
A chance presents itself to Christian Pulisic from Chelsea with a minute left but his header went wide.
1-0 was how things ended, advantage Dinamo Zagreb, dismay for Chelsea FC.