Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea struggled to get Romelu Lukaku more involved in the game due to Manchester City’s relentless pressing in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat.

Lukaku had just 21 touches in the game, the least of any player to play 90 minutes in the game — and the home side unsurprisingly looked toothless in the final third.

Tuchel, interestingly, gave Pep Guardiola’s men the credit for stopping his team from building from the back.

He also argued that Chelsea tried to utilise more long balls as they could not escape Manchester City’s pressing, but did not have enough precision to be really threatening.

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League
(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“We lost the game and City deserved to win,” the Chelsea boss told BT Sport.

“Until the goal we were very strong in the last 20 metres of the field, but only there, unfortunately.

“Everywhere else we were not good enough to relieve pressure and to hurt them.


“Even if we wanted to go for long balls for Romelu [Lukaku] it was not precise enough.

“I didn’t really feel the belief that we could escape the short balls. It was doubtful and it felt like we had something to lose.

“We lacked a little bit of freshness also.”

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League
(Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

In his post-match press conference, Tuchel added: “I don’t think we need to talk about Romelu.

“Because when the ball reached him, the attack was already half over because there was no connection.

“It wasn’t a Romelu problem.”

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