Premier LeagueIt’s a situation he’s rarely been in. Romelu Lukaku (28) was on the bench for 90 minutes at Burnley on Saturday and that hardly changed against Norwich tonight. The substitute in the 86th minute with a score of 1-2. Kai Havertz provided certainty with a superb goal, in a match that was in light of previous developments around Chelsea in which the club was involved. It was confiscated by the British government†
The answer on the pitch would delight Chelsea. Shalloba opener after three minutes, a double lead by 15 minutes by Mount. Double stroke of the Norwich red lantern, mental reinforcement for the tormented Chelsea off the field. It wasn’t until the depths of the second half when things soured when the Canary Islands found connection via Pukki. Only to see Havertz put a nice 1-3 on the board past Kroll in the final minutes.
Lukaku looked at him – again – sadly. Tuchel sent him to the field in less than ten minutes. Also nowhere to start tonight. A striker worth 113 million euros swallows frustration. Saturday vs Burnley It was the third time this season that Tuchel didn’t need a “Big Rom.” He also did not get minutes against Juventus and Lille in the Champions League. It requires getting used to.
At Inter, he played every game when he was fit. Only when the title was won last season did Antonio Conte leave him on the bench once. Even at Manchester United, where he was eventually sought, Lukaku only had to stand idly once every two years in the league and Champions League as an unused substitute.
This fate almost did not happen to him at Everton and West Brom. Lukaku learned to sit on the sofa ten years ago, on his first assignment at Chelsea. It was rarely to the core.
“Romelo is fighting for his place,” Tuchel says. “Just like everyone. He is positive. He does not like the situation, but he deals with it professionally. I do my best to support him. It is not an easy time for him. He is a member of this team. An important member. But I can only pick eleven players.”
Without the “big rum” Chelsea easily beat Norwich tonight. The man who sang loudest from the visitors’ section: Roman Abramovich. Let it be any consolation for Lukaku: It wasn’t Timo Werner, the German’s favourite. Once again he missed an opportunity to show himself. Sunday then Lukaku at home against Newcastle?
Last week he managed to lead Chelsea to the next round of the FA Cup with a winning goal.
Watch also† Tuchel continues to defend Lukaku
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