Home SPORTS GIST Uefa Champions League “ROMELU LUKAKU IS JUST WHAT CHELSEA WERE MISSING” – THOMAS TUCHEL

“ROMELU LUKAKU IS JUST WHAT CHELSEA WERE MISSING” – THOMAS TUCHEL

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Farouq Oduola A.

Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku was the type of player Chelsea were lacking at the club after he extended his fine run of form with a match-winning goal against Zenit on Tuesday.

Chelsea overcame the Russians 1-0 on the opening night of their Champions League defence, thanks to Lukaku’s excellent header in the second half. It was the Belgian’s fourth goal in four games since returning to the club in the summer.

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After the game, Tuchel was full of praise for Lukaku, and not just for his on-field performances, with Chelsea undefeated and looking ominously strong.

Chelsea’s manager said: “Romelu’s performance was difficult. We didn’t give him many opportunities, but he’s the type of guy that never loses faith in himself. That is why he is regarded as a world-class striker.

“Without Romelu, we were able to win and achieve results. But he was the type of profile we were looking for, not just in terms of talent, but also in terms of personality. He’s such a humble man, and he’s a great communicator in the locker room, and it produces a particular energy in the club that we’re proud of.

Tuchel claimed Lukaku’s clinical edge gives the squad and the spectators confidence that a goal is coming having scored four of his six shots on target this season.

“In football, there aren’t many goals, and goals can transform the game’s momentum. It inspires the rest of the team to believe that he only needs one chance to score. So it’s not just talent he gives; he also brings belief and relieves the load on the other men around him.

Despite being frustrated by Zenit for long stretches, Tuchel was pleased with the intensity of Chelsea’s performance, particularly their defensive strength.

Tuchel’s side kept another clean sheet, their 23rd since he took over in January, more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues in that time.

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