Thomas Tuchel has criticized Romelu Lukaku for his sloppy finishing in Chelsea’s
defeat against Man City at the Etihad Stadium
Chelsea are now 13 points behind the league leader’s Manchester City.
Though Chelsea defended well and were only beaten by Kevin De Bruyne’s second-
half strike, they were a blunt instrument upfront in a reversal of last summer’s
Champions League final that Chelsea won.
Tuchel’s fury was aimed at all his attacking players but Lukaku, who returned for his
second spell at Stamford Bridge last summer after a high-profile move from Inter
Milan was singled out for criticism.
‘He had many ball losses without pressure and in very promising circumstances,’ said
Tuchel who frequently shook his head and shouted in outrage and shook his head
when his team surrendered possession.
‘Of course, we want to serve him but he is part of the team and sometimes he needs to
do service as well. He had a huge chance so he’s included in this.
‘He is part of the team and the performances upfront, especially in the first half, we
can do much better and we need to be.
‘We had eight or nine attacking transitions in the first half and zero touches in the
box. That is a big problem. There was a lack of timing and composure.
We could have had more chances if we played with better precision.’
Lukaku’s big moment arrived with the game still goalless after 47 minutes. Mateo
Kovacic set him clear of the City defense but the Belgian’s first-time finish was
parried away by Ederson.
The 28-year-old has scored only four times in his last 18 appearances for Chelsea and
subsequently apologized for comments made to an Italian television station in which
he said he’d like to play for Inter again – creating what Tuchel described as
De Bruyne hit yesterday’s winner after 70 minutes with an outstanding strike from
the edge of the box to put City 13 points clear at the top of the table.
Tuchel refused to surrender the title though and praised his team’s defending at The
Etihad. ‘We were active and aggressive, we just lost the game in one individual
situation,’ he said.
‘I have no time to lose energy by looking at the table. We play on Tuesday (v
Brighton) and we have to be ready.