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Romelu Lukaku risks Thomas Tuchel fury again after what Chelsea star did vs Real Madrid

Romelu Lukaku had the perfect opportunity to reduce the deficit to one goal against Real Madrid but the striker was unable to find the target for Chelsea.

Romelu Lukaku had a fairly straightforward chance to score a second goal for Chelsea against Real Madrid. Still, the £97.5million striker was unable to find the target. It means that Los Blancos go into next week’s second-leg with a 3-1 advantage.

Lukaku, who was signed by the Blues for a club-record fee last summer, was brought on around an hour into the tie at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel called upon the Belgian when Chelsea were in desperate need of a goal, and he had a golden chance to grant his manager’s wish.

A cross on the left-hand side was deflected, leaving Thibaut Courtois absolutely stranded in between the posts, and Lukaku had the goal gaping in front of him. He was completely free. His header, though, went just wide of the post.

It  was a moment that produced a collective groan from all inside Stamford Bridge. It was a moment that would have massively frustrated Tuchel.

“You can’t even quantify the fact that it took the deflection to get there. He just got it wrong,” BT Sport pundit Steve McManaman said on Lukaku’s headed chance.

The Chelsea boss previously called out Lukaku for missing a glorious chance against Manchester City, and this latest miss risks infuriating Tuchel once again. “Of course, we want to serve him, but he is part of the team, and sometimes he needs to do service as well. He had a huge chance so he’s included in this,” Tuchel said in January.

Speaking after the first-leg defeat to Real Madrid, Tuchel did not seem happy with the sitter missed by his striker. “Very important, miss. There are no away goals, so if you have a one-goal deficit, then it means more,” he said.

“The momentum was back after we scored, and we had the chance to equalise, but decisions today were far from our level and standards. To come back with a chance like this for 3-2… we had 16 shots or something like this. Goals are crucial if we get them, and we gave the third one away. That is simply impossible. We can’t demand if we turn things around if we do this.”

This seems as if Lukaku’s confidence is at an all-time low, so judging him on his finishing ability might not be fair. However, when Chelsea paid £97.5m to bring the striker back to west London in August, chances like that simply have to be taken in games with the magnitude of Wednesday evenings.

It was a night where Lukaku was snubbed from the start once again – and that call was vindicated with Kai Havertz being Chelsea’s strongest performer on the evening. The German scored his eighth goal in 14 matches for club and country to give the Blues some hope ahead of next week’s second-leg.

Tuchel was asked about Chelsea’s striker situation last month and spoke about Havertz stepping up his game and how Lukaku is remaining positive despite being the manager’s second-choice right now. He said: “The pride is on him because he stepped up.

“The players take care of themselves when they are on the pitch, and they need to in order to stay on the pitch. He absolutely did this.”

On Lukaku, Tuchel added: “It’s not easy for him, but he’s an important member of the team. There are other players at certain times who are not happy because the biggest problem is that we can only start 11 players and a lot of players have a reason to think they can be regular starters for us.”

It might be a case of one goal for Lukaku, and his confidence is back. But right now, with the chances he’s missing and his body language, that goal looks further away than ever.

 

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