ChelseaPress conference

Thomas Tuchel explains tactical decision that made Lukaku sit on the bench in 2-0 win over Lille

Chelsea registered a commanding two-nil win in their Champions League round of 16 first leg tie against Lille last night courtesy of goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic.

Thomas Tuchel’s team selection on the night of course did raise some eye brows as the much talked about Romelu Lukaku was benched for the game.

Tuchel speaking after the game though revealed that Lukaku’s non involvement against Lille was due to fatigue and him not being unable to cope with the required intensity for the game.

Thomas Tuchel: “It was about hard work against the ball, off the ball, have intensive teamwork. Romelu struggled in the last few games a little bit to deliver that. That’s what I meant when I felt him a bit tired both mentally & physically.”

Adam Newson via @AbsoluteChelsea

Thomas Tuchel: “You can clearly see we have a strong win and strong performance. It was a tough match and almost every question is about Romelu. The focus is huge. There were nine other players who did not play.”

Thomas Tuchel: “We should never forget we consider this sport a team sport and the eleven guys who play do everything to commit fully to what we plan and to commit fully to their teammates and those on the bench have to do the same and this is how it works.”

Thomas Tuchel: “Especially at Chelsea and especially for us and this is how we win football matches.”

Lukaku’s seven touches against Crystal Palace on Saturday was nothing to write home about but from all indications, Thomas Tuchel trusts his £100 million striker but Chelsea’s performance without him last night further begs the question as to his usefulness in the team.