Zakaria interview on an exciting debut and getting to know the Chelsea fans - Denis Zakaria may have had to bide his time before making his Chelsea debut, but when it arrived it proved to be worth the wait.

The midfielder’s loan move from Juventus was completed on deadline day, back on 1 September. Despite having been named on the bench several times, including for each of our first five Champions League group fixtures, game time had proven elusive for Zakaria until last night.

Deployed in a midfield three alongside Jorginho and Mason Mount, the Swiss international thrived. Nobody in blue made more interceptions than Zakaria, and he completed 39 of his 40 passes. But unquestionably his standout contribution was what turned out to be the winning goal on the half-hour, an accomplished finish from just inside the box.

‘It was very exciting and I’m very happy for that debut and for the goal,’ he beamed.

‘My mind was only that I have to score! I shot as hard as possible and it went inside, so I’m really happy.

‘It was important for me to play good, to do a good game and to help the team to win. The job is done and I’m really happy about that. It was an amazing debut for me. I’m proud.’

Zakaria’s evening ended prematurely after picking up a knock Graham Potter said afterwards wasn’t serious. He left the pitch in front of the West Stand and walked all the way around the ground to the dugouts, lapping up the applause and receiving plenty of high fives.

‘It was an amazing feeling,’ said Zakaria.

‘It was really cool for me to have this experience. The Chelsea fans are amazing, and I hope I can have a lot of games in front of them.

‘I always want to play, that’s normal,’ continued the 25-year-old.

‘It’s been very, very difficult, I have to say. When you have to see your team-mates on the pitch and you’re on the bench, it’s not so easy. But I was always behind the team. I was waiting for my chance, and when it came I’m happy I helped the team to win and I scored a goal.’ 

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