Ben Chilwell provides positive Chelsea fitness update ahead of Champions League tie away at Dinamo Zagreb

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Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell has delivered a positive fitness update ahead of their Champions League tie against Dinamo Zagreb.

Thomas Tuchel’s side will play away at the Croatian outfit in their first European match of the season, with the Blues competing in Group A.

They will also face AC Milan and FC Salzburg, with Chelsea setting their sights on the knockout stages once again.

Chilwell has recently returned to the side after a long spell out on the sidelines.

The 25-year-old suffered a serious ACL injury during their 4-0 thumping of Juventus in the Champions League last year, and he missed most of the season as a result.

He made his first start since that match in the season opener against Everton in August, and the left wing-back made an impression off the bench against West Ham on Saturday.

Chilwell netted the equaliser against the Hammers before setting up Kai Havertz for the winner late on, with his efforts ensuring that Chelsea sealed an important victory against their London rivals.

When speaking to the club website after the win he commented on his finish, and provided a positive update on his fitness ahead of a busy campaign.

“I don’t really know where to start. It was very off the cuff. I knew I couldn’t bring it down with my chest so I just tried to flick it on and it ended up being a flick-on to myself.

“I’ve turned and the ball was still in play, then I saw the keeper had come out and just thought if I can get it past him and hopefully on target it’ll be a goal. 

“I’m not quite sure how it went in but it did and it was that little bit of luck that I’ve been looking for.

“I’ve had to be patient and bide my time, to make sure I’m training hard so that moments like today when I come into the game I can impact it positively.

Ben Chilwell scoring the equaliser against West Ham. (Alamy)
Ben Chilwell scoring the equaliser against West Ham. (Alamy)

“At 1-0 down, to come in and have a positive impact at Stamford Bridge in front of a full stadium was a really nice feeling, and to help Kai get the winner was great as well.”

The win against the Hammers was surrounded by controversy over Maxwel Cornet’s disallowed goal shortly after Havertz’s winner. 

Tuchel commented on VAR’s recent decisions when speaking to the press ahead of the match against Dinamo Zagreb: “What can I say now to be clear at the same time and not pay a fine again? Where is the line? Maybe it is better if other people talk about it. 

“Our last three home games… I don’t need that anymore. Red cards, VAR decisions, goals given, decisions not taken where it is obvious to take.

“Speaking about the last game I understand the frustration, discussions about this decision. For me it’s not a 100% decision. It was against Tottenham, it’s not now. I was happy the referee got the chance to have a review of the situation on the pitch then it is his decision. 

“We will never have a game without mistakes but at least he gave everybody the feeling that he took the decision. I understand the frustration. It’s not on me to comment too much. The quality of mistakes, nobody is happy about that.”