Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea FC star Romelu Lukaku has surprised me in recent games

Thomas Tuchel says he has been pleasantly surprised by Romelu Lukaku's level of performance for Chelsea FC since the striker's comeback

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku (Photo: Chelsea TV)

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he has been “surprised” by the level of Romelu Lukaku’s performances for Chelsea FC since making his comeback in recent games.

Lukaku made his first Premier League start in 10 weeks on Wednesday night and scored the opening goal in the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian striker headed home Mason Mount’s cross in the 28th minute in south west London and the goal looked to be handing Chelsea FC all three points until Danny Welbeck netted a headed equaliser in the 91st minute.

Despite the disappointment of dropping points for third time in four games, Lukaku’s strong form since his return has been a major positive for the south west London side.

And Blues boss Tuchel has admitted that he has been highly impressed and surprised by the way Lukaku has been performing lately considering how long he was on the sidelines for.

“I’m surprised what he’s doing,” Tuchel said when asked about Lukaku’s performance after Wednesday’s draw. “I don’t know how long he can do it. We will try it and then we will see. Nobody knows.

“He was eight weeks out, and when he was trying to come back he caught Covid, and then after that training and then playing. That’s what we do at the moment.”

Lukaku has now scored seven goals in 17 games in all competitions for the Blues since returning to the club from Inter Milan in the summer.

Chelsea FC’s disappointing draw on Wednesday night left them second in the table and eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City. Liverpool FC are a further point behind the Blues but have a game in hand over the two teams above them.

The Blues do not have long to lick their wounds after Wednesday’s draw, with Tuchel’s men scheduled to host title rivals Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.

Chelsea FC full-back Cesar Azpilicueta is hoping that the Blues can bounce back with a positive result against the Merseysiders.

“The Premier League is the toughest league in the world, and every opponent is very difficult, but when you don’t get the three points it’s very disappointing,” said Azpilicueta after the draw with Brighton.

“We want to win games and hopefully we can give our fans a good start to the new year in front of the fans here against Liverpool.

“It is a tough moment, but we need to stick together and dig in. It is not an easy situation but this is how we have to overcome these difficult moments.”

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