Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reveals why Romelu Lukaku did not play at all in shock Everton defeat

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reveals why Romelu Lukaku did not play at all in shock Everton defeat
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has opened up on his decision not to play Romelu Lukaku at all during Sunday’s shock defeat by Everton.

The sluggish and weary Blues suffered their third loss in six Premier League games at Goodison Park, with Richarlison’s effort after a key Cesar Azpilicueta error handing Frank Lampard’s side a vital victory in their battle against relegation.

It was a disappointing result punctuated by more sloppy individual mistakes and profligacy, both of which are becoming all-too-familiar themes for a Chelsea team that have certainly not been firing on all cylinders since their agonising Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid last month.

Lukaku’s struggles are a major running theme of an inconsistent campaign that has still included two domestic cup finals and Club World Cup glory, with the £97.5million club-record signing having started just one of the last nine matches across all competitions.

Prolific in Inter Milan’s Serie A title-winning season last year, the Belgian international has failed to net a Premier League goal since December.

Romelu Lukaku was an unused substitute as Chelsea slumped to a shock defeat at Everton (Getty Images)
Romelu Lukaku was an unused substitute as Chelsea slumped to a shock defeat at Everton (Getty Images)

Regardless of those ongoing issues, many fans may still have expected Tuchel to turn to Lukaku as his side tried in vain to snatch a late equaliser on Merseyside on Sunday, with third-place Chelsea now just three points ahead of Arsenal with four matches left to play this term.

Instead, the German opted to replace Jorginho with midfield colleague Mateo Kovacic at the interval, with wide forwards Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic later introduced at the expense of captain Azpilicueta and ineffective frontman Timo Werner.

When quizzed as to why Lukaku did not feature at all against former club Everton, Tuchel insisted he was merely restricted by the number of available substitutions, which will be increased to five per game from next season.

He said: “Because we brought Jorginho off. We only had three changes.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting