Thomas Tuchel was not happy with Chelsea’s attacking display at Manchester City and hit out at Romelu Lukaku.
[ MORE: Player ratings out of 10 ]
Lukaku squandered Chelsea’s best chance of the game as he was played in but Ederson saved his shot, while the Belgian forward was isolated for most of the 90 minutes and the Blues didn’t have a shot in the first half of the game.
That is the first time they’ve done that since Tuchel has become their manager.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Tuchel was asked about Lukaku’s display and if he didn’t get the service he wanted up top.
Chelsea boss wants more from Lukaku, attack
“Sometimes he needs to do the service,” Tuchel said. “I think he is included in this. He had many ball losses without any pressure and many ball losses in very promising circumstances. He had a huge chance, so he is included in this.
“Of course we want to serve him but he’s part of the team and the performance up front, especially in the first half, we can do much, much better. And we need to do much better. We had a lot of transition chances in the first half.”
Another battle brewing between Tuchel, Lukaku?
The Chelsea boss was obviously upset as he answered questions a few minutes after seeing their title hopes all but ended by the defeat at Manchester City, as Chelsea are now 13 points behind league-leaders City.
But he clearly wanted to make a point to Lukaku too.
After their recent words, and Lukaku’s apology for questioning Tuchel’s tactics, was this really necessary?
Lukaku made several good runs in the first half but Chelsea couldn’t find him properly, and on one occasion he played a ball to Ziyech instead of having a shot.
Was Lukaku really the problem?
Chelsea just couldn’t pick the right pass when they did get forward and Lukaku looked frustrated throughout. Perhaps if he had Timo Werner or Kai Havertz up top alongside him then the Belgian striker would have been more involved?
Criticism of Lukaku aside, Tuchel’s decision to start Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech over Timo Werner and Mason Mount seemed to be the wrong one and Chelsea’s attack was woeful in their biggest game of the season.