Oršić's goal earned Dinamo Zagreb a shock win over Chelsea

Oršić’s goal earned Dinamo Zagreb a shock win over Chelsea

ZAGREB, Croatia – Mislav Oršić must wish he could play English teams every week.

The Croatia forward burst from the halfway line and provided a stunning 13th-minute finish to give Danamo Zagreb a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea in their Champions League Group E opener on Tuesday.

Add that goal to Orschek’s achievements against English clubs in the Europa League: the winner against West Ham last season and a hat-trick to eliminate Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in 2020-21.

It marked a memorable start to Dynamo’s first group stage campaign in Europe’s top competition since 2019-20, reaching the spot through three qualifying rounds.

As for Chelsea, it was the latest disappointing result in an incredible start to the season for a club that spent nearly $300 million on updating their squad in the summer transfer window.

The two-time European champions dominated the game in the Croatian capital but were let down by poor finishing, which was capped by tough defending and some great saves by Dominic Levakovic for the hosts.

“We are clearly not where we need to be, or where we are,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said.

Asked specifically what he disliked about Chelsea’s performance, Tuchel said: “Everything is missing at the moment.”

In the second half, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – making his Chelsea debut following a deadline day move from Barcelona and wearing a mask to protect his injured cheek – scored a goal in the build-up against Ben Chilwell. Rejected for limited sides. Then, in a thrilling finish, Reece James smashed a shot against the post before Levakovic pulled off a stunning double save to deny Mason Mount’s then-Hakim Ziyech.

Ultimately, a break-and-grab victory was achieved thanks to an early goal from Oršić, who was headed in by Bruno Petkovic in midfield to Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana just inside the half-hour mark. Sir Fleck met and was cleared from the race. Newly signed French defender towards goalkeeper Capa Arrizabalaga.

As he approached Kepa, Oršić lifted the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Dynamo looked dangerous in the rare forays in a performance fueled by defensive discipline and from a counter-attack, Stefan Ristovski powered in a rising shot that was tipped onto the crossbar by Capa, who Edward Mendy was predeceased.

“It’s a poor performance from us,” Tuchel said. “We have the same story as always – we start well, we don’t finish half our chances, we don’t realize when the game is already there.” In the first 15-20 minutes we go to bed, then we accept a counter attack which is very easy.

“And from there, we struggled.”

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