Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku was in good spirits at the full-time whistle after what he did with a certain Brentford player despite the ‘horrible’ Timo Werner snub.
An attack that never got going in what was a drab first half of proceedings in this latest edition of the West London derby. The 28-year-old had to watch on from the bench once again as manager Thomas Tuchel opted for a front three of Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. He did get a chance to try and impact proceedings when he was introduced in the 65th minute at the expense of N’Golo Kante, but Chelsea’s frailties at the back meant that the £97.5million striker had very little opportunity to oppose himself on the opposition.
The fact Tuchel went for a misfiring Werner over his not very better teammate based on form Lukaku was a decision labelled as ‘horrible’ by Paul Merson, and it was also one that was questioned by the Chelsea faithful pre-match. “If Werner is not there, I’m not being horrible, but it won’t make much difference.”, Merson said on Sky Sports. “He hasn’t fulfiled his potential, or he hasn’t come with what is expected at Chelsea. The way he was playing at Leipzig, he was a different player. I think playing in the pandemic didn’t help anybody. I don’t think he’s recovered from that. He has been given another chance today, and who knows, football can change quickly. If he plays today and plays well, then all of a sudden, Tuchel goes, ‘you know what, I’ll play him against Real Madrid’, and he could become a superstar once again.
“But I do worry for Chelsea in the next three years or so. When these players’ contracts run out, I think the people having the marches will worry if the new owners will put money into the club. We’ve seen what happened to the Glazers at Man United.” Despite all the backlash that came from this decision, the manager in question wasn’t in a frame of mind to reflect upon it during his post-match duties. Instead, he berated some of the defensive work on display while criticising the weather for factors that led to the defeat.
We lacked maturity in our defending,’ said Blues boss Tuchel. “We were not aware of the danger in these moments, which is also very strange for us. We got punished, and that’s also not normal. It’s a summary of strange events. It’s on us, and it’s our fault. We felt leggy, which is normal after the break. We struggled in the beginning. I felt us more mentally tired, not fresh enough. Also, yesterday, we were wearing gloves, and it was snowing during training. Today, it was very, very warm.
Despite being left on the bench at the expense of Chelsea’s number 11, Lukaku was in good spirits at full-time, unlike the rest of his teammates and the coaching team, who were quick to trudge down the tunnel. Whilst all players of the Blues persuasion looked to exit the pitch quickly whilst the DJ chose to play Bob Marley’s ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ tune to try and raise spirits ahead of the impending Real Madrid clash, the West London club’s number 9 was filmed embracing goalscorer but good friend Christian Eriksen.
Both played pivotal parts in Inter Milan’s successful season last term under Antonio Conte and have formed a clear friendship.