Chelsea's Thomas Tuchel gives frosty answer about Romelu Lukaku's performance vs Man City

  • Kobe Tong
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Romelu Lukaku hasn’t found it all plain sailing since returning to Chelsea.

Having been snapped up from Inter Milan to the tune of £97.5 million, the Stamford Bridge faithful will have hoped for a better return from Lukaku’s first 21 appearances than ‘only’ eight goals.

And when you marry that to the interview saga that challenged his relationship with Thomas Tuchel, you really get the feeling that Lukaku hasn’t enjoyed a fairytale return to west London so far.

Chelsea and Lukaku face Man City

However, Chelsea‘s trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday night was a chance for Lukaku to turn things around as the Blues looked to haul themselves back into the Premier League title race.

The 28-year-old was given all 90 minutes against Manchester City in what felt like a must-win game if Chelsea were to return to English football’s throne for the first time since 2016/17 this season.

Though, spoiler alert, things didn’t quite play out like that with the Citizens advancing their charge towards glory with a 12th consecutive Premier League victory courtesy of Kevin De Bruyne’s winner.

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Lukaku struggles vs Man City

And according to SofaScore, it wasn’t a vintage performance from Lukaku either with the Belgian striker’s rating of 6.1 proving the lowest of any Chelsea or City player involved in the fixture.

Lukaku managed just 21 touches, failed to make a single key pass, won none of his seven aerial duels, completed just seven passes and conceded possession 10 times. Ouch.

As such, it will come as no surprise that Tuchel wasn’t best pleased with Chelsea’s record signing, but it might come as a surprise to learn that he aired some of those criticisms very publicly.

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Tuchel gives frosty interview

When you consider how fresh in the mind Tuchel and Lukaku’s falling out continues to be, it was certainly eyebrow-raising to see the Chelsea boss criticising his striker in the post-match interviews.

Having been asked whether or not Lukaku was getting sufficient service, Tuchel proceeded to rebuff by saying that the ex-Manchester United man had to get more involved in the build-up play himself.

Combine that open acknowledgements that Chelsea need to do far, far better up front and it made for a frosty interview that you can check out down below:

Is anyone else feeling, well, a little awkward?

An awkward feeling…

Look, at the end of the day, it was an objectively poor display from Lukaku and Tuchel has every right to criticise his own players, but the whole situation just feels so raw after the interview drama.

You can’t help making the logical leap that there is still some fizzling tension between player and coach with both off-the-pitch shenanigans and lukewarm performances creating a certain unease.

Only those in the Chelsea dressing room will truly know whether we’re reading too much into things or not, but it’s fair to say that it’s not been all sunshine and rainbows for Lukaku back in England.

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