'That's why he's here!' - Chelsea boss Tuchel full of praise for match-winner Lukaku
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‘That’s why he’s here!’ – Chelsea boss Tuchel full of praise for match-winner Lukaku

The Belgian star led the Blues to a Champions League-opening victory over Zenit on Tuesday

Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for summer signing Romelu Lukaku after the Chelsea forward scored the only goal in the Blues’ 1-0 win over Zenit on Tuesday.

Lukaku sealed all three points at Stamford Bridge with a 69th-minute goal, helping last season’s Champions League winners start their new campaign with a victory.

The Belgian forward joined Chelsea this summer from Inter, and, after leading the Blues with yet another goal, Lukaku was praised by Tuchel for doing exactly what he was brought to London to do.

What was said?

“It was an excellent header [from Lukaku for the goal], a well-timed cross by [Cesar] Azpilicueta, Tuchel told BBC Sport. “He was brave enough to step up and we had bodies in the box.

“That’s why he [Lukaku] is here. He likes to score and he’s decisive for us.”

Added Lukaku on his goal in an interview with BT Sport: “Me and Cesar agree on certain types of movements on the pitch. I had to get my timing right but it was a beautiful ball by him.

“We knew it would be a tough game but we controlled it really well.”

‘One game at a time’

Lukaku is already off to a strong start to his second stint at Chelsea, having scored four goals in as many games since making the switch from Inter.

The addition of Lukaku has only made Chelsea more dangerous after the Blues won the Champions League last season.

And, when asked about his part in helping Chelsea to a potential repeat, Lukaku said he isn’t looking that far ahead.

“I’m really happy with the win,” he added. “Today was a better performance than the weekend [a 3-0 win over Aston Villa]. We have to keep growing.”

He continued: “One game at a time. Today is the first game [in the Champions League]. Now we have a difficult game at the weekend against Tottenham.”

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