Thomas Tuchel summons Romelu Lukaku for his choppy finish in Chelsea’s defeat to Man City after he missed two major Al Ittihad chances… with the pair’s strained relationship in danger of erupting once again.
- Thomas Tuchel criticized Romelu Lukaku’s performance in the loss to Manchester City
- The coach said the Belgian striker gave the ball away easily and often
- He also said Lukaku missed a “big opportunity” to break the deadlock
- Tuchel Lukaku was shot down earlier this month for an unauthorized interview
Thomas Tuchel set up Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku after falling 13 points behind Manchester City on a crucial afternoon in the title race at the Etihad.
Tuchel, a frustrated and angry character on the touchline, cut through most of their 1-0 lunchtime defeat at City with Lukaku bearing the brunt after squandering Chelsea’s big chance early in the second half with his lone shot on target.
It is the latest setback for the £98m striker Tuchel dropped against Liverpool earlier this month following an interview in which Lukaku claimed he was “unhappy” with the coach’s tactics.
Romelu Lukaku received harsh criticism from his coach after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Man City
Thomas Tuchel did not utter his words when describing Lukaku’s performance in the Federation
Although Chelsea defended well and were only defeated by Kevin De Bruyne’s shot in the second half, it was a sharp object up front in reversal of last summer’s Champions League final which Chelsea won.
Tuchel’s anger has targeted 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, has come under fire.
“He lost a lot of the ball without pressure and in very promising conditions,” said Tuchel, who repeatedly shook his head and shouted angrily and shook his head when his team surrendered possession of the ball.
Of course we want to serve him but he is part of the team and sometimes he needs to do the service too. He had a great opportunity so he was included in this.
“He’s part of the team and the level of performance up front, especially in the first half, we can do a lot better and we have to be.
“We had eight or nine attacking transfers in the first half and we didn’t have any touches in the penalty area. That’s a big problem. There was a lack of timing and composure.
Lukaku missed two big chances to put Chelsea ahead at the Etihad
Tuchel also put in the Belgian striker to repeatedly give the ball away “without pressure”.
We could have had more chances if we played with better accuracy.
Lukaku’s big moment arrived as the match continued without goals in the 47th minute. Mateo Kovacic kept him away from the City defense but Ederson’s first Belgian goal saved him.
The 28-year-old has scored just four times in his last 18 games for Chelsea, then later apologized for comments he made to an Italian TV station saying he would like to play for Inter again – creating what Tuchel described as ‘unfair. essential. the noise’.
De Bruyne scored the winning goal yesterday after 70 minutes with a superb shot from the edge of the penalty area to put City at the top of the standings by 13 points.
Tuchel refused to concede the title and praised his team’s defense in Al Ittihad.
“We were energetic and aggressive and lost the match in an individual situation,” he said.
I don’t have time to lose my energy by looking at the table. We play on Tuesday (against Brighton) and we have to be prepared.
Lukaku was already in Tuchel’s bad books for his unauthorized interview last month
“We want to serve him, but he is part of the team and he needs to serve as well,” Tuchel said.
“If City keep winning they will be champions but we will never give up.”
We won matches against City with the same performance we did today but you can also lose them because of Kevin De Bruyne’s individual quality.
“We didn’t show the same quality to score the first goal and raise doubts in their play.”
Although Tuchel is widely credited with Chelsea’s Champions League victory, his intensity has seen him struggle to deal with stars like Neymar at PSG and it would be great to see Lukaku’s reaction to some of the scathing criticism.
City coach Pep Guardiola added of his team’s 12th consecutive league win: “I was happy to beat Arsenal, but we didn’t deserve it. It’s better if we win today because we deserved it.”
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said beating Chelsea was better than beating Arsenal