Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace: Romelu Lukaku's painful FA Cup miss

  • Kobe Tong

Romelu Lukaku missed a glorious opportunity to put the icing on the cake of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues’ record signing had to settle for a place on the bench at the home of football with Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Mason Mount preferred to lead the line against Crystal Palace.

Thomas Tuchel had said in the run-up to the game that Lukaku needed to take a leaf out of Werner’s book in order to make an impact in what has proven to be a really tough season for him.

Tuchel on Lukaku at Chelsea

According to talkSPORT, Tuchel explained ahead of the game at Wembley Stadium: “What Timo has done is exactly what [Lukaku] needs to do.

“Wait, be patient, work hard and put the team first, be ready to help the team, because as a striker you can help within seconds.”

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The Chelsea boss then added: “Especially for strikers, things can be turned around in minutes, in moments. Whole careers can be upside down and in any direction but always as a striker you can have a chance to put things into your favour.”

The £97.5-million purchase has only scored five Premier League goals in 2021/22 and came under fire for a controversial interview with Sky Italia over the winter months.

Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace Match Reaction (Football Terrace)

Lukaku’s painful miss

Nevertheless, the scene was set for Lukaku to reboot his goalscoring form when he was brought on for the closing exchanges of the FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea already leading 2-0.

Lukaku had his chance to crown Chelsea’s victory when the ball flashed into his path just yards out from Palace’s goal, seemingly allowing him to join Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mount on the scoresheet.

But alas, it simply wasn’t to be with Lukaku’s subsequent out-stretched strike finding the post as opposed to the net, duly compounding one of the toughest seasons of his career – check it out:

Lukaku just can’t catch a break right now, can he?

Fan reaction

An alarming trend at Chelsea

While it’s not an egregious miss of the magnitude that Fernando Torres produced for Chelsea in 2011, it couldn’t be any clearer that it’s exactly the kind of miscue that Werner has also been slammed for in England.

There is a damning merry-go-round of undoubtedly talented strikers coming to Stamford Bridge and struggling to produce the goalscoring form that supporters had seen from them elsewhere.

Whether that’s Andriy Shevchenko or Alvaro Morata, Werner or Lukaku, you’d be forgiven for thinking that merely pulling on the famous blue jersey handicapped a number nine’s goalscoring touch.

Chelsea's Lukaku at Wembley.
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea battles for possession with Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace during The FA Cup Semi-Final match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on April 17, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Only time will whether or not Lukaku will be able to rediscover his own quick enough to save his Chelsea career. We can only hope so.

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