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Romelu Lukaku was spotted hugging Thomas Tuchel after playing in Chelsea’s comfortable win over Tottenham on Wednesday night.
Lukaku played the full 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
Kai Havertz opened the scoring inside five minutes when Marcos Alonso seized on a sloppy pass from Japhet Tanganga to set up the German.
And it was 2-0 before the break when Tanganga inexplicably headed a free-kick straight into Ben Davies, who inadvertently sent the ball into his own net.
Lukaku had plenty of chances to get himself on the score sheet after a difficult week in which he was forced to apologise for giving a controversial interview.
The Belgian headed a Hakim Ziyech cross wide in the first half and hit two shots straight at Hugo Lloris, but Chelsea still took a two-goal advantage into next week’s second leg.
Tuchel was keen to stress that Chelsea were putting the controversy around Lukaku behind them before kick-off.
And that was evident at full-time when the Blues boss was seen sharing a moment with his star striker.
HAVE YOUR SAY! What did you make of Romelu Lukaku's performance vs Spurs? Comment below.
"It’s against his own coach, it’s at home and he’s our player,” Tuchel told Sky Sports before kick-off when asked about starting Lukaku.
“So, this was the plan. We can listen to this interview 100 times and it will not won’t make it better. He wants to be [here] and we want him to be a key player. For now we move on."
Lukaku was dropped for Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool after he gave an interview to Italian media in which he said he was “not happy” with his current situation at Chelsea.
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Tuchel joked post-match that Lukaku had "rested himself" for the Liverpool game and said he was pleased with the 28-year-old's performance against Spurs.
“I’m absolutely happy," he said.
"I was pretty sure he was not affected, the last few days he seemed relaxed and fine with the situation.
"Also, mentally, he’d moved on. Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. And it was a good performance.”
- Romelu Lukaku
- Chelsea FC
- Thomas Tuchel
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