Thomas Tuchel has been informed of the worrying news that most Chelsea fans won’t want to hear going into a busy period in the Premier League.
Both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner were meant to have stellar nights in the Champions League against Malmo but it wasn’t to be due to injury woes for the pair.
The former of the aforementioned duo was withdrawn first from the contest on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge in the 21st minute after an ankle injury was the result of some brilliant play to win the Blues a penalty.
It was one that Jorginho easily tucked away to double the lead on the night.
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Chelsea’s club-record signing start in such a winnable game, especially considering the congested fixture schedule on the horizon for the European Champions in all competitions.
On top of this, Tuchel’s admission at the start of the week when he suggested that the 28-year-old was being ‘overplayed’ and as a result feeling ‘mentally tired’, makes it more of a mystery as to why the German opted to select him for this clash.
He said in his pre-Malmo press conference: “In the very moment I feel Romelu a bit overplayed. I think he played too many competitions over the summer, too many competitions with the national team and now he has played the Nations League.
“He is a fantastic athlete and such a competitive guy that he digs in deep, he wants to win these things and he never takes it easy and judges games.
“He wants to be out there and win so I know how much he wanted to have a good outcome for Belgium in the Euros, and the Nations League meant a lot to him too.
“It was a huge match for him personally, it means a lot to him to play for his country. So he takes it really seriously and if it doesn’t go well he always takes it on his shoulders.
“I feel him a bit mentally tired. Not hugely that we have concern but for me he does not fully enjoy without having second or third thoughts, for me he overplayed and this is the key point.”
At half-time, BT Sport pundit and ex-Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has expressed his own worries as to how significant the injury could be for the Belgian international.
“It was a real shame because he was warming into the game,” he said. “It wasn’t a bad tackle in a sense, it was a coming together but Lukaku’s too strong. It’s a nasty one and I don’t think we’ll be seeing him for a few weeks. It isn’t nice to see. When the ankle goes in that position it’s not nice. He’ll be bitterly disappointed, it’s not nice to see.”
Eni Aluko added: “It was almost his desperation to score there that put his body out of sync and you see his ankle there twist and it looks nasty. You’d hope he would be able to run it off because this is the perfect came for Lukaku to get back into scoring form.
“When things aren’t going for you, the rhythm, you get injured, it’s disappointing for Lukaku but now Havertz has got to step up. Werner has gone off now too, Havertz has to step up now. There is a lot of pressure on the forward that are out.”
The bad news didn’t just stop there for fans of the west Londoners, with Werner also forced off in the first half due to what looked like being a hamstring-related injury.
“A muscle that early in the game tells me he is overtraining a tad,” Cole said.
“Chelsea haven’t been sharp but they look razor-sharp tonight and Timo Werner looked sharp – he should’ve stuck it away when it came across his body, opening his body up. That’s two forwards Chelsea have lost so not a perfect night.”
Despite a dominant performance, these two injury blows have overshadowed what could have been a successful night on whole for Tuchel and co. in the Champions League.
Source by Football London