Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel explains why he left Romelu Lukaku out of playing XI against Liverpool thriller

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel on Sunday explained why he had decided to not include star player Romelu Lukaku in the playing XI against Liverpool, which ended in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. Tuchel also said that he would speak to Chelsea’s £97.5m purchase on Monday about his chances of returning to the squad.

Lukaku had triggered a full-blown controversy after told Sky Italia that he was ‘not happy’ with his bit-part role under Tuchel earlier this season. He had said that he would not have come to Chelsea had Inter Milan offered him a suitable contract. Lukaku had said that he would like to return to Inter Milan in the near future.

Asked about Lukaku’s return to the squad, Tuchel told BBC, “Tomorrow there is a meeting and we will decide…Monday we discuss and we all meet and we will take a decision.”

After Chelsea’s thriller with Liverpool, Tuchel was asked if there was any hope for Lukaku to return to the playing XI. The Chelsea boss told Sky Sports, “He is our player, there is always a way back. We will clear this behind closed doors and once we have made a decision and Romelu knows, you will maybe know also. It is not to be discussed now.”

Earlier, Tuchel had explained why he decided to leave Lukaku out of the playing XI. He had told Sky Sports, “It became too noisy and so close to the match. So I decided to protect the preparation of the match and that is why he is out.”

Chelsea on Sunday hosted Liverpool for a crucial Premier League match. After conceding two goals in the first half, the European Champions bounced back and scored two brilliant goals to level the score. They were the victim of many controversial decisions by the referee. Tuchel rightly felt that referee Anthony Taylor was wrong to not show a red card to Liverpool striker Sadio Mane after he flattened Cesar Azpilicueta with a high elbow in the opening seconds. Minutes later, Mane scored, giving Liverpool 1-0 lead.

Chelsea continue to occupy the second position in the points table behind Manchester City but could be pushed to the third if Liverpool win their next match.