The first Champions League game at Stamford Bridge with fans back in the stadium saw Chelsea get held to a 1-1 draw with Russian side Krasnodar.
Despite only drawing the game, Chelsea top the group and will head into the knockout stage of the competition, in which they will face one of the runners up in the other groups.
Krasnodar meanwhile finished third in the group, and will drop down to the Europa League.
Story of the Match
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard made ten changes from the side that won 3-1 against Leeds United on Saturday, as Kai Havertz retained his place as he still works back to full fitness following his positive Covid-19 test. Lampard handed a first start of the season to Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour, and a full debut to academy graduate Tino Anjorin.
Krasnodar meanwhile made seven changes from the side that beat Rotor 5-0 on Saturday, with the most notable being the inclusion of French midfielder Remy Cabella, known to fans in the United Kingdom for his time at Newcastle United.
Despite the game starting off with a slow tempo, Krasnodar looked the better side, with Tonny Vilhena coming close to giving the Russian side the lead on 11 minutes as his powerful shot flew over the bar. They went close again five minutes later, as Viktor Claesson ran into the box and shot just wide of the post.
Krasnodar finally made their pressure pay on 23 minutes, as Claesson set up Remy Cabella to fire home into the bottom corner past Kepa Arrizabalaga to give them the lead.
However, three minutes later, Chelsea were given a golden chance to equalise as they were given a penalty following Kaio's foul on Tammy Abraham. Jorginho stepped up and rolled his penalty past Yevgeni Gorodov to put Chelsea on level terms.
On 29 minutes, Abraham came close to giving Chelsea the lead as he was fed through by Havertz, only to see his shot hit the side netting. There were only a handful of chances before half time, with Gilmour, Abraham and Havertz all attempting harmless efforts.
The second half was considerably less impactful, with Abraham, Havertz and Mateo Kovacic all unleashing poor efforts in good positions. Chelsea's best chance to win the game came on 66 minutes, as careless play around the back for Krasnodar allowed Abraham in, whose effort was saved by the feet of Gorodov.
Lampard then went to his bench to try and change the game, and his substitutions nearly paid off, as Timo Werner's mazy run resulted in an effort that went just wide, which could have been tapped in at the back post if Abraham had stretched for it. Chelsea could not snatch a late win and had to settle with a point.
Chelsea's Squad Depth- Who Impressed and Who Did Not?
As Lampard changed almost his whole line-up for this games, all eyes were on who would step up and make enough of an impact to be considered for a regular starting place in the Premier League, much like Olivier Giroud did last week with his hat-trick against Sevilla.
In goal, Kepa Arrizabalaga was given his first start since his far from convincing display against Southampton in October, coming in for the rested Edouard Mendy. Even though the goal he conceded can not really be called his fault, the Spaniard did not massively impress, failing to come for crosses and distribution was wasteful at times. With a move in January on the horizon, it could be the last we see of Chelsea's Europa League hero from 2019.
In defence, the back four that started against Sevilla last week returned to the side, and had differing degrees of success. As far as the centre backs are concerned, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, they were fine yet unconvincing, posing no threat to the places currently occupied by Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva. As for the full backs, Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson Palmieri, they showed how Chelsea have moved them on from first choice to backups, as their delivery from crossing and work rate up and down the pitch left a lot to be desired.
In the midfield, Billy Gilmour was easily Chelsea's star man on the night: his close control, movement and range of passing showed minimal impact from his knee surgery undergone in July, and he is very much in the plans of Frank Lampard for the future. Despite scoring from the spot, Jorginho had one of his worst performances for the club in midfield, looking weak and tired in possession and lacked the spark he showed last week in Seville. The same could be said for Mateo Kovacic, who tried to make things happen for the Blues in a more advanced role but lacked end product.
As for the front three, it was very different to what we are used to seeing in a 433 as Lampard decided to play Kai Havertz and Tino Anjorin, natural attacking midfielders in the wide positions, something which caused a lack of fluidity in attack and players getting in each other's way. On his full debut, Anjorin had a few nice touches and showed that he clearly has ability, but lacked the confidence to suggest that he can make an impact on the first team in the short term, with a loan move probably the best option for him. As for Havertz, it is clear to see he is still lacking fitness, and his performance is one that he will probably wished he did more in, but the lack of chemistry with those around him was apparent. In the striker position was Tammy Abraham, who would class this as an opportunity missed in his attempt to get back in the starting line up in the league. Missing key opportunities, continuing to be lacklustre in the air, and not seeking out goals that he should be getting, it will be no surprise to see Olivier Giroud retain his starting place over him in the side against Everton on Saturday.