The Belgian striker was criticised by his coach following Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes were dashed by Manchester City’s 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and the Blue Moon’s on-field advantage was not something the final score would show.
In fact, Tuchel must now consider the impact of being led by the nose at Manchester City.
Tuchel won three games in a row against Guardiola last season, culminating in a Champions League trophy in Lisbon in May.
However, the Blues were again beaten in worrying one-sided fashion in Manchester following a loss at Stamford Bridge last September, with De Bruyne’s long-range strike deservedly solving City’s title struggles.
Chelsea knew they needed a win to keep their Premier League title hopes alive, however, they never looked close to winning. In fact, they didn’t even have a shot in the first half.
They did have a good chance after the break, but Lukaku’s poor shot was saved by Ederson.
The £97.5million Chelsea signing from Inter Milan has recently put more pressure on himself to justify his huge transfer fee, in addition to giving an interview to Sky Sport Italia without permission and saying Declare his love for his former club in the interview.
While he has apologized, he has also been exposed to criticism, and his recent performance has not been good enough to keep his critics at bay.
The performances of Lukaku and the rest of Chelsea’s attackers did not cause any problems for City’s backline.
Remember, Lukaku’s arrival was hoped to add a whole new dimension to the Blues’ attack, but he has only scored eight goals in 21 appearances in all competitions this season.
Some believe the Belgian striker is once again isolated up front, but Tuchel disagrees.
“Lukaku sometimes needs to do something to help himself,” Tuchel told BT Sport after the game. “He has lost the ball a lot in very promising situations and he has a good chance to score.”
“Of course we also want to create chances for him, but he is part of the team and we can do better up front.”
“We’ll never give up, but if City win every game, nobody can catch them.”
Chelsea are still in a better position than most chasers. They are still on track to win two titles (Club World Cup and League Cup) by the end of February, while they remain one of the favourites to win the Champions League and FA Cup.
However, the Premier League table paints a disturbing picture of the team’s current strength.
If the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham win the games they play less, they will go straight to the Blues, and if Liverpool beat Brentford, Chelsea will lose their second-place spot.
With these teams mostly less busy schedules, Tuchel’s side could easily be drawn into another brutal battle for a top-four finish.
When asked if Chelsea were looking at the table now, Tuchel responded: “Why do we look at the table? If you listen carefully to what we say, the only place we look at is ourselves.”
“I don’t have time to look at the fixtures or the table, I don’t understand the question, but yeah, that’s part of being a top team: you’re being chased. That’s the Premier League.”
Chelsea may be the defending champions of the Champions League, but they have only barely finished in the top four of the Premier League for the past three seasons, and the team could soon find themselves in a similar situation again this season.
The Blues’ Premier League title hopes were dashed at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but their run to the Champions League is about to begin.