Tuchel explains leaving £98m Lukaku on the bench

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Thomas Tuchel has sought to explain why Romelu Lukaku remained an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at Everton, with more questions being asked of the Belgian striker’s ongoing presence at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues headed to Goodison Park for their latest Premier League fixture aware that victory over their relegation-haunted opponents would cement a standing inside the top four and start to rebuild confidence during an inconsistent run.

They were, however, to suffer a shock setback following a solitary strike from Richarlison, with Tuchel deciding not to introduce £98 million ($123m) frontman Lukaku when his side needed attacking inspiration during the second half on Merseyside.

Why was Lukaku an unused substitute for Chelsea vs Everton?

Chelsea did make three changes against the Toffees, with Italy international midfielder Jorginho forced off at the break.

From there, Tuchel opted to introduce Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech when hunting an equaliser and told reporters afterwards when quizzed on why Lukaku remained rooted to the bench: “Because we brought Jorginho off. We only had three changes.”

Are Chelsea’s attacking issues causing concern?

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After drawing a blank at Everton, Chelsea have now found the target just twice across their last three Premier League outings.

They are also struggling to keep clean sheets, with a mistake from captain Cesar Azpilicueta costing them dear on Merseyside, and Tuchel admits that there are issues for him to address.

Asked about a lack of firepower, the German said: “If there is something I can do I will try it but if I knew about it I would have done it before.

“For me the key is to have a clean sheet. Manchester United was a different game, more open and fluid, finally scored late and conceded straight away. For me it is more like the game against West Ham and we had a clean sheet and played without any big mistake and that gives us the chance to score late.

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“If you install emotion and belief in a stadium like this, you struggle.”

Chelsea, who have seen Lukaku fail to register a Premier League goal since December 29, will be back in action next weekend when playing host to Wolves.

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