Chelsea: Romelu Lukaku admits Thomas Tuchel snub has been ‘difficult’ after scoring at Aston Villa

‘We are the hunters now’: Romelu Lukaku insists Chelsea will treat every match like a final in their bid to catch Man City… as matchwinner admits he has been frustrated at being left out by Blues boss Thomas Tuchel

  • Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and scored in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Aston Villa
  • Lukaku, 28, had failed to score in the Premier League since September
  • The Belgian striker has fallen out of favour under Thomas Tuchel in west London
  • He is desperate to return to the starting XI after several substitute appearances



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Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the ‘hunters’ in the Premier League title race after returning to the scoresheet in their 3-1 Boxing Day win away at Aston Villa.

Lukaku, 28, headed home his first league goal since September to help the Blues claim a precious win at Villa Park, moving them level on points with Liverpool and six behind leaders Manchester City.

The Belgium striker has failed to work his way back into Thomas Tuchel’s plans since returning from an ankle injury in November, with his last league start coming back in October, while he also missed their last two matches after testing positive for Covid-19.

Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the 'hunters' in the Premier League title race

Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the ‘hunters’ in the Premier League title race

Lukaku headed home his first league goal since September in the Blues' 3-1 win at Aston Villa

Lukaku headed home his first league goal since September in the Blues’ 3-1 win at Aston Villa

And after coming off the bench to head home against Villa on Boxing Day, Lukaku admitted he is now desperate to return to the starting line-up after growing frustrated with late substitute cameos. 

‘I think I needed a performance like this today. It’s been difficult getting ends of the game, every footballer wants to be on the pitch,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘The manager has his reasons, but I kept working hard and today was good first to win, and then for myself personally I’m happy with my performance and I want to push on.

The Belgian striker then issued a subtle dig at Thomas Tuchel over his lack of game time

The Belgian striker then issued a subtle dig at Thomas Tuchel over his lack of game time

‘(The goal was about) movement. I think balls from crosses and stuff, throughout the years my movement in the box has been better. I try to be less static and try to be on the move all the time.

‘The cross was a brilliant cross and then I just flicked it in.

‘I think that’s one of my preferred actions, running into space and using my speed and my power. The defender made contact and then Jorgi(nho) finished it off for us.’

Chelsea could ill afford another slip-up at Villa if they had any ambitions to win the title. Recent draws against Manchester United, Everton and Wolves saw them tumble down to third, but Sunday’s victory has kept them in the hunt to become champions.

Lukaku added: ‘We are the hunters now. The last results for us were not the best and now we have to chase. Every game for us from now until the end of the season is a final, you have to treat them like finals because every game in the Premier League is very difficult.

‘But today we won and now we have to push on and keep chasing.

‘Today we had to do a job, we had to win the game. Aston Villa was doing really well in the last couple of games, credit to Steven Gerrard and his staff and their players, they have a really good team and it wasn’t easy for us.

‘Now we have to push on and make sure that every game is a final. Win, and that’s it.’

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Chelsea: Romelu Lukaku admits Thomas Tuchel snub has been ‘difficult’ after scoring at Aston Villa

‘We are the hunters now’: Romelu Lukaku insists Chelsea will treat every match like a final in their bid to catch Man City… as matchwinner admits he has been frustrated at being left out by Blues boss Thomas Tuchel

  • Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and scored in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Aston Villa
  • Lukaku, 28, had failed to score in the Premier League since September
  • The Belgian striker has fallen out of favour under Thomas Tuchel in west London
  • He is desperate to return to the starting XI after several substitute appearances



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Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the ‘hunters’ in the Premier League title race after returning to the scoresheet in their 3-1 Boxing Day win away at Aston Villa.

Lukaku, 28, headed home his first league goal since September to help the Blues claim a precious win at Villa Park, moving them level on points with Liverpool and six behind leaders Manchester City.

The Belgium striker has failed to work his way back into Thomas Tuchel’s plans since returning from an ankle injury in November, with his last league start coming back in October, while he also missed their last two matches after testing positive for Covid-19.

Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the 'hunters' in the Premier League title race

Romelu Lukaku says Chelsea are relishing being the ‘hunters’ in the Premier League title race

Lukaku headed home his first league goal since September in the Blues' 3-1 win at Aston Villa

Lukaku headed home his first league goal since September in the Blues’ 3-1 win at Aston Villa

And after coming off the bench to head home against Villa on Boxing Day, Lukaku admitted he is now desperate to return to the starting line-up after growing frustrated with late substitute cameos. 

‘I think I needed a performance like this today. It’s been difficult getting ends of the game, every footballer wants to be on the pitch,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘The manager has his reasons, but I kept working hard and today was good first to win, and then for myself personally I’m happy with my performance and I want to push on.

The Belgian striker then issued a subtle dig at Thomas Tuchel over his lack of game time

The Belgian striker then issued a subtle dig at Thomas Tuchel over his lack of game time

‘(The goal was about) movement. I think balls from crosses and stuff, throughout the years my movement in the box has been better. I try to be less static and try to be on the move all the time.

‘The cross was a brilliant cross and then I just flicked it in.

‘I think that’s one of my preferred actions, running into space and using my speed and my power. The defender made contact and then Jorgi(nho) finished it off for us.’

Chelsea could ill afford another slip-up at Villa if they had any ambitions to win the title. Recent draws against Manchester United, Everton and Wolves saw them tumble down to third, but Sunday’s victory has kept them in the hunt to become champions.

Lukaku added: ‘We are the hunters now. The last results for us were not the best and now we have to chase. Every game for us from now until the end of the season is a final, you have to treat them like finals because every game in the Premier League is very difficult.

‘But today we won and now we have to push on and keep chasing.

‘Today we had to do a job, we had to win the game. Aston Villa was doing really well in the last couple of games, credit to Steven Gerrard and his staff and their players, they have a really good team and it wasn’t easy for us.

‘Now we have to push on and make sure that every game is a final. Win, and that’s it.’

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Nations League: England are drawn in group with Euro 2020 rivals Italy

Gareth Southgate insists the ‘fire is burning’ for Nations League bid after England are drawn in tough group with Euro 2020 champions Italy, Germany and Hungary

  • England were drawn against Italy, Germany and Hungary in Nations League 
  • It pits Gareth Southgate’s men against Euro 2020 final opponents once again 
  • Newly-promoted Wales are in a tough group against Belgium and Holland  
  • The first round of the European competition is set to kick off next June 



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Gareth Southgate insists his players are ‘burning’ with desire to prove their position as one of world football’s powerhouses after being grouped with Germany and Italy in the Nations League. 

England were pooled alongside two of their Euro 2020 opponents and Hungary, who they faced during World Cup qualification, in Thursday’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland. 

Despite the daunting group, England head into the tournament — at the end of the domestic season — as one of the favourites, after losing to Italy on penalties in the final of the European Championship.

Gareth Southgate's England will face Euro 2020 rivals Italy in the Nations League groups

Gareth Southgate’s England will face Euro 2020 rivals Italy in the Nations League groups 

Southgate said: ‘What the summer gave us was the confidence that we got to where we did but also we retain the hunger that we haven’t got to where we want to get. I think that fire is burning in our group of players. I think over the last few years we have had some great progress in terms of tournament progression. 

‘One of the things that we spoke about over the last couple of years was needing to beat more of those top teams. We were able to win in Spain in the last Nations League, we lost to and beat Belgium in the most recent Nations League. We got a win against Germany in the summer, so we are starting to beat those teams.

‘What we have got to do is beat them on a regular basis and that is the next step for us. To win tournaments you have got to win against the biggest countries. That is the missing piece.’

On the prospect of facing Hungary, whose fans racially abused England players earlier this year, Southgate added: ‘We’ve got to understand that it could be a difficult fixture.’

They will have a chance to avenge their final defeat by Italy after they were beaten on penalties

They will have a chance to avenge their final defeat by Italy after they were beaten on penalties

Another clash with old foes Germany is also in the offing when the competition starts next year

Another clash with old foes Germany is also in the offing when the competition starts next year

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Belgium stay top, Kosovo reach record high

Belgium remain top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking after an action-packed number of weeks in international football which saw 78 friendlies, 74 continental qualifiers and 60 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers take place. Though the teams in the top ten remain unchanged, there has been some movement. France (2nd, up 1) and Brazil (3rd, … Read more