‘I’m not concerned’: Thomas Tuchel explains Romelu Lukaku decision to Chelsea FC fans

Thomas Tuchel has his say on Romelu Lukaku's recent form after his goalless run for Chelsea FC was extended to six games

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku (Photo: Chelsea TV)

Thomas Tuchel has insisted that his decision to substitute Romelu Lukaku in the second half of Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over Brentford on Saturday was purely made because the striker looked “a bit tired”.

The Belgian forward, who scored in the 3-2 defeat by France in the Uefa Nations League semi-final during the international break, was brought off in the 76th minute of the Premier League clash on Saturday as the Blues managed to withstand waves of pressure from the home side.

Lukaku has been struggling in front of goal in recent games and he has not found the net for Chelsea FC in more than a month when he scored the winner against Zenit Saint-Petersburg in the Champions League.

The 28-year-old striker has now gone six games without a goal or an assist for the Blues and Tuchel has conceded that the hectic fixture schedule may have been catching up with the attacker.

Asked about Lukaku at his post-match news conference on Saturday night, Tuchel said: “I just felt him a bit tired. Honestly today I thought we did altogether a very strong 65 or 70 minutes, including Romelu and Timo.

“I’m not concerned, I felt him a bit tired and then isolated because we were together as a block defending too deep and both of them, Timo and Romelu, were a bit too far away to help us to escape the pressure. So that was a bit of a problem today, but no concern.

“Normally the best thing is if he scores but he is very unselfish at the moment looking for Timo in good situations and when we had them in those situations there were some close offside decisions. So there is no need to worry.”

Saturday’s win lifted Chelsea FC back to the top of the Premier League table and left them a point clear of Liverpool FC after eight games.

Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was named as the man of the match after he produced a string of crucial saves in the second half to deny Brentford an equaliser.

And Tuchel was delighted by the shot-stopper’s performance at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Tuchel continued: “He was very strong throughout the whole match. We managed to keep a lot of pressure away from him during the first 60-65 minutes but they were still there.

“They were always dangerous on set pieces, they put a lot of free-kicks, corners, free-kicks into your box so it’s a constant threat and he was very strong and very concentrated also in our build-up play, a very good performance.”

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