Tuchel trusts ‘instinctive’ Lukaku to maintain goalscoring form

Thomas Tuchel has challenged Romelu Lukaku to back up his brace against Wolves with another strong showing against Leeds United tonight, if selected.

The Belgian was handed a start against Wolves on Saturday and repaid Tuchel’s faith by scoring twice to fire us into a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge, before the visitors hit back to claim a share of the spoils.

After the game, Tuchel was asked whether Lukaku deserved singling out for praise for his goalscoring display but our German head coach preferred to focus on the team rather than individuals and speaking ahead of our trip to Leeds, the boss has explained why he chose to answer in this way.

‘When a striker scores two goals which brings you the lead and then increases the lead, then normally there is no way you can leave him out of the next game,’ Tuchel said at his pre-Leeds media briefing at Cobham.

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A breakdown of the Belgian’s second against Wolves
‘Of course, I wanted to give him more praise for his performance [against Wolves] but it simply was not the moment to do so, because the disappointment [of dropping points] was huge. In the end, it is a team effort and it is a team sport.

‘I learned very early as a coach that your number nine, no matter what level whether it’s at Academy or the first team, needs to score goals. If you draw 3-3 and your number nice scores a hat-trick, he can be happy and he can go off with a smile because he has done his job. Maybe this is an exaggeration with Romelu but this is how I felt after the Wolves mate. He absolutely has the right to be happy with his performance personally, because scoring goals is the most important thing for a striker.

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‘He knows that everyone was happy for him that he could find a goal for us and he deserves the praise for this but when you are asked right after the game in a press conference, it is difficult to do that because the overall team disappointment was bigger.’

Lukaku caused a number of issues for a resolute Wolves defence and deservedly got up and running from the penalty spot before then hammering home a second moments later.

The second goal was trademark Lukaku, as the Belgian used his pace and power to get away from his marker before arrowing the ball into the far corner and leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.

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That finish delighted Tuchel who now wants to see the former Inter Milan striker continue in this way by ‘trusting his instincts’ in front of goal.

‘He is more than welcome to show finishes like he did against Wolves all the time! His second goal in particular was a brilliant finish,’ Tuchel told reporters at Cobham.

‘Romelu has scored goals all his life. It’s in his body and I tell him all the time to trust his body, trust his brain and to trust his instincts because he knows how to do it [finishing].

‘He will never lose the ability to score goals, he just needs to rediscover that spark and hopefully after these two goals he can continue in this way.

‘It’s always a good moment for a striker when they score goals and hopefully he can trust his instincts and score more for us.

‘Romelu has worked hard in training, he works hard for the group and there is no big ego there and this is what we love about him. He is a top team player and we love this about him, so that is why he deserved to start against Wolves and he deserved his goals. Now he must continue in this way.


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