LONDON (Reuters) – Romelu Lukaku opened his Champions League account for Chelsea as his powerful header earned the holders an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in their Group H opener on Tuesday.

It had been an uncomfortable night for the defending champions against a well-organised Russian side but in the 69th minute the big-money striker Lukaku broke the deadlock with a header straight from the centre forward’s handbook.

Chelsea were hardly convincing, however, and Thomas Tuchel’s side did not even manage a shot on target in a pedestrian first half.

They did improve in a far more entertaining second period in which Zenit looked capable of springing a surprise.

But all that mattered in the end for a raucous Stamford Bridge crowd was that another European campaign began with three points, maintaining the club’s impressive start to the season.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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