Tuchel backs Lukaku

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insisted Romelu Lukaku was not to blame for their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City and said he will question his own tactics after suffering their first loss of the Premier League season.

Gabriel Jesus’ 53rd-minute strike settled a contest City dominated at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with Lukaku an isolated figure for long periods, registering just 21 touches all afternoon — the fewest number of any player in either starting line-up.

Chelsea signed Lukaku from Inter Milan for €115 million this summer to help them mount a serious title challenge but he has now failed to score against both principal rivals — City and Liverpool.

However, Tuchel said Lukaku suffered from a lack of service rather than any personal shortfall. “I don’t think it is necessary to talk about Romelu’s struggle today,” he said.

“When we reached Romelu, the attack was already half over because there were not enough people and there was simply no belief and connection. This was a team problem, not an individual problem.”

Chelsea failed to register a shot on target in the entire game as City asserted control by dominating possession.

By 90min