Premier League News: Chelsea boss Tuchel greets “world-class” Lukaku and his off-pitch impact with Champions League holders


Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised Romelu Lukaku “world class” and praised the star’s off-pitch impact after leading the Champions League holders past Zenit 1-0.

Lukaku made a difference on Tuesday, scoring his first Champions League goal for Chelsea, who opened their title defense with a hard-fought win at Stamford Bridge.

After scoring twice against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday, record-breaking club player Lukaku confirmed this with an impressive header in the 69th minute against the Russian champions in Group H.

Lukaku has scored four goals since joining Serie A champions Inter and Tuchel greeted the Belgian international in form.

“Romelu’s performance was not easy. We have not created many opportunities, we have not created many deliveries. But he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t lose confidence and faith. And that’s why he’s here and makes him a world-class striker, ”Tuchel said during his post-match press conference.

“You don’t find many strikers of that quality and the guys who are there to score regularly for their teams are so, so important. There aren’t many goals in football and goals change the momentum of the match. He gives the whole team the belief that maybe half a chance, one chance is enough for him to score.

“He’s not the only talent he brings, he brings confidence, he himself has the conviction and takes the pressure off the shoulders of the other guys around him. He has the personality not to be impatient or lose confidence. He does what he does at a very high level and we are very happy that he is with us. There are many reasons why we may not be at our highest level right now. But right now with the preseason, the arrival of new guys, international breaks and so on, I’m happy with how we play and we are very competitive. We know how to manage the difficulties during matches and today I liked what I saw on the sidelines because I felt the energy and the fatigue.

“I am a strong opponent and we have accepted and respected him. It was a tough one [Aston] Villa team over the weekend and tough Zenit team today. They changed their formations, their mentality when they arrived when they played with us, we have to adapt and find solutions. This is what we do right now ».

Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (22), Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland (20) and Manchester United striker Bruno Fernandes (17) have scored more goals than Lukaku (14) in major European competitions since early 2019 -20.

Lukaku’s 14 Champions League goals have come in his last 14 appearances.

Tuchel added: “He was the kind of guy that we lacked in our team, the profile, but not only for his talent but also for his personality. The guy is a super humble guy, loves football, loves to train, is a great communicator in the locker room and is open to all. This creates a certain atmosphere and energy around him within the team that we are proud of and that we want to have because we believe in it.

“The atmosphere and spirit of last year took us very far and it is important to find it again. We have it with Romelu because he loves Chelsea, he knows Chelsea, he knows what this club is about. As I said, he is not shy about saying out loud that he is here and to help with his goals. If we miss him for a game, or hopefully no more games, we will try to find different solutions, maybe the style will be different in the way we create chances.

“But now we have him and we are very happy that he can show these things because he gives us confidence and everyone around him a lot of confidence. It is the best start for the forwards to score, to be decisive. There is no talk, there is no video of any coach in the world that can have the same impact. “

“It’s really cool,” Lukaku told BT Sport. “I am really happy with the victory. We’ve kept the game under control. We have to keep growing. I think today was a better performance than at the weekend. I am very happy for the victory and very happy for the goal. “


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