Romelu Lukaku immediately gave Chelsea a first win in the Champions League on Tuesday evening by scoring the only goal of the game against Zenit Saint Petersburg. For Big Rom it was his first ever goal at the championship ball for the Blues. His coach was full of praise after the match. “We are incredibly happy to have him,” said Thomas Tuchel. Afterwards, analysts Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand also had nice words for Lukaku on English television. “Lukaku has in a very short space of time become the man they turn to at Chelsea to get them over the line.”
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There were some questions after his transfer from Inter to Chelsea. Would the bond with Thomas Tuchel be as close as with Antonio Conte, the man who made him blossom in Milan? Those questions can now go in the trash. The love for Big Rom is great. Also in London. “It’s hard to find strikers who score as smoothly as Lukaku,” Tuchel said after the 1-0 win against Zenit.
It was Big Rom’s fourth goal in as many games for Chelsea. “Even if he gets a little less balls, he continues to play with confidence. The other boys trust him. Just because he doesn’t get impatient and never lets his head hang. That is why he is with us. We needed a player like Romelu, on and off the pitch. In the dressing room he is very open and that creates a lot of energy. You can see that he loves this club and that is very important. I hope we can use it as often as possible this season. Players as decisive as him are rare.”
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Later in the evening, the all-time top scorer of the Red Devils also received praise from Chelsea club icon Joe Cole. “His transfer was really a matchmade in heaven for both sides (both Chelsea and Lukaku),” the former England international told BT Sport. “I think he will be the top scorer in the Champions League this season.” A strong prediction in the knowledge that Cristiano Ronaldo was already at the cannon, Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski immediately scored twice on the Barcelona field and that Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe have yet to come into action.
“Lukaku didn’t even play one of his best matches, but he’s a finisher, a killer,” Cole said. “Once that ball was thrown in front of the goal, it was as good as a goal.” His fellow analyst Rio Ferdinand, who was critical of Lukaku not so long ago, also nodded in agreement. “He is now the talisman of the team, the one they walk to to win them over. In the short period he has been there, he has already proven that he can score a goal from any chance. He wants that responsibility and pays it back. Playing with someone like him up front is a wonderful feeling. Then you just think: let me do my job and he’ll make sure we win that matchsaid the ex-Manchester United defender.