Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner injuries could spoil Chelsea’s lopsided Champions League win over Malmo

LONDON — For 19 or so minutes at Stamford Bridge this was shaping as much as be simply what Chelsea wanted. Malmo have been compliant Champions League opponents certainly, simply what Thomas Tuchel and his forwards wanted to click on again into gear.

Romelu Lukaku might merely bully his manner via the again three pitted in opposition to him. In the end that was somewhat the issue. When Lasse Nielsen couldn’t carry him down by truthful means he did so by fouls, Lukaku’s ankle bending worryingly below the load of his opponent’s problem. That Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell made a beeline for his or her striker, somewhat than goalscorer Jorginho, after the penalty he had gained was scored mirrored the place their considerations lay.

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When it rains it pours. Simply because the heavens opened above Stamford Bridge, Tuchel’s issues on the high of the pitch deepened. Timo Werner was chasing a ball excessive when he felt that dreaded twinge of his hamstring. His face was etched with agony as he made his manner down the tunnel although he did no less than have a hotter expression on his face when he returned to the dugout simply earlier than full time.

“We now have a twist of the ankle for Romelu and a hamstring for Timo,” Tuchel mentioned. “They are going to be some days out, I suppose.

“It at all times bothers me [to lose players]. Usually we’re in a great place damage smart, we had solely Christian Pulisic out. We now have plenty of video games to play, plenty of competitions. We now have to cope with it and discover options. No excuses accepted.” Additional exams over the approaching days will provide additional perception into the size of absence for each gamers.

Tuchel might not curry a lot sympathy from his managerial counterparts contemplating he was capable of exchange his document signing Lukaku with the earlier holder of that title — $100 million Kai Havertz — while Callum Hudson-Odoi got here on for Werner. In any case these two mixed for the third purpose that added additional gloss to this convincing win, the latter driving dow the left earlier than slipping a superbly judged cross for Havertz to clip a shot over substitute goalkeeper Ismael Diawara.

Definitely Tuchel was decided to problem these two, along with Pulisic when he returns from damage, while Lukaku and Werner are sidelined. “The race is on,” he mentioned. “The fellows who will begin in opposition to Norwich [in the Premier League on Saturday] have our belief.

“Let’s attempt to keep optimistic. We have gained video games with out Timo and with out Romelu. We do not wish to have these issues however they occur.”

Optimistic although his evaluation may need been, it leaves the German with a range headache that somewhat spoiled a 4-0 victory that constitutes a uncommon emphatic win for a facet which have develop into masters in grinding their approach to victories extra complete than the scoreline would normally recommend.

From the primary second this was a case of what number of Chelsea wished to attain. Werner had been lucky that the offside flag had been offside when he contrived to skew a Lukaku cutback large from just a few yards out within the fourth minute. It didn’t take lengthy earlier than the purpose did come.

Andreas Christensen may need been ready 137 video games for his first purpose in a Chelsea shirt however he took it with the aplomb of a perennial scorer. Thiago Silva’s cross from the precise additionally belied his standing as a center-back, a whipped supply from the precise flank crying out for a candy volley. The Dane supplied precisely that with a swing of his proper boot, the ball flashing into the web.

An assault that had appeared anaemic in opposition to Manchester Metropolis, Juventus and Brentford started to click on into gear after that opener. Werner appears to relish having a reference level to play off somewhat than being that man himself. Mason Mount appeared to have the burst that has not at all times been current in his recreation this season while there was merely nothing Malmo might do to hinder Lukaku. The Swedish champions have hardly appeared like Champions League customary over these three video games however in a manner you suspected that the standard of opposition didn’t actually matter for Chelsea. What they wanted for now was to only get just a few objectives of their system.

They appeared to be coming as Lukaku barged via the Malmo protection within the field, just for a woeful sort out by Nielsen to ship the Belgian tumbling to the deck. Jorginho stepped as much as convert the ensuing penalty, considered one of two he would rating on the night time, however the sense was that extra important harm had been performed to Chelsea than one spot kick might ever make up for.

To his credit score Havertz was the identical wealthy mix of good motion and delicate management that he was in enjoying the false 9 position for Tuchel final season. Nonetheless his supervisor was not completely impressed with what he noticed, bawling within the teenager’s route on two events within the first half for heavy touches and unfastened passes.

Chelsea might afford to be profligate. Every time it clicked it was an excessive amount of for Malmo, significantly when N’Golo Kante went marauding via midfield. One such burst unleashed Havertz in behind, the German firing a low shot on the close to submit that introduced a sensible save from Johan Dahlin down low to his left. It was maybe one of the best second of the night time for the guests who didn’t check the goalkeeper up on the different finish; so peripheral to the motion was Edouard Mendy that when the ball got here to him on the midway line the Stamford Bridge crowd urged him to “shoot.”

Having missed one probability from a decent angle late within the first half Havertz went higher within the second. He and Hudson-Odoi mixed menacingly down the left, the latter driving up the sector earlier than choosing the right cross on the proper second to slide within the No. 29, who dinked a chip over substitute goalkeeper Ismael Diawara.

There was nonetheless greater than sufficient time for Antonio Rudiger to go on considered one of his customary rampages up the sector, on this event giving to Havertz and going earlier than Eric Larsson caught him as he took a shot. Jorginho completed with customary aplomb from 12 yards out.

Final season the Italian was Chelsea’s high scorer within the Premier League, all his seven objectives coming from the penalty spot because the Blues struggled to place the of entirety on the possibilities they have been creating. If Lukaku’s absence proves to be a prolonged one, that (and the odd sally ahead by defenders) would possibly show to be a worryingly essential avenue to purpose for Tuchel’s facet. | Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner accidents might spoil Chelsea’s lopsided Champions League win over Malmo


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