Romelu Lukaku proves he is world class but Tuchel’s title challengers have a lot of work to do

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Romelu Lukaku showed what Chelsea are missing with an impressive performance against Brighton.

The 28-year-old Belgian started his first match since a draw against Zenit St Petersburg earlier this month and opened the scoring in the 28th minute.

Romelu Lukaku leads Brighton with a brilliant all-round performance

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Romelu Lukaku leads Brighton with a brilliant all-round performancecredit: getty
Lukaku powers home Chelsea winner

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Lukaku powers home Chelsea winnercredit: getty
Thomas Tuchel has a problem to solve after dropping more points at home

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Thomas Tuchel has a problem to solve after dropping more points at homecredit: getty

Lukaku showed great appetite and anticipation, attacking the space in front of Chelsea to the head from a corner on the front post.

But the striker had already shown in the opening five minutes why the Blues spent £97.5 million on him over the summer.

Antonio Rudiger pushed an optimistic ball forward and Lukaku, wrestling with 6ft 6in Dan Byrne, flicked the ball before running ahead of the Brighton defender.

This established the target’s sight for Mason Mount and Lukaku continued in that vein throughout the night.

He was a target whenever Chelsea were in trouble and needed an out ball – which was often the case.

And more importantly, he answered Jorginho’s call and said the Italian pre-match: “I hope our striker can score, score and be the top scorer and I can’t, To be honest.”


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Lukaku repeatedly picked up or dropped the ball on Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi with a clever touch from his chest or boot.

Had that pair produced a better end product in the final third, Chelsea would have been out of sight by the time Danny Welbeck took the lead in Brighton’s last-minute equalizer.

But he should not be blamed for leaving Chelsea again at home, having drawn against Everton, Manchester United and Burnley – their last-minute win against Leeds being their only win in five home games.

Instead, Tuchel should be watching his midfield.

Jorginho was calm and Matteo Kovacic was unusually sloppy. Both failed to take the Blues with the team, instead relying on Lukaku to catch the ball before bringing the others into play.

And the midfield duo were also to blame for putting pressure on Brighton’s defence.

Indeed, but Siegel would have already scored his equalizer had N’Golo Kante’s 67th minute arrival.

Kante lifted Chelsea off the pitch and his introduction gave more chances – Lukaku worked the ball well into the box but his shot was quickly closed by Byrne.

In contrast, Chelsea failed to close Mark Cucurella and his inch-perfect cross was found by Welbeck to take the Blues eight points away from league leader Manchester City.

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