Chelsea v Liverpool pictures
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has provided detail on his talks with Romelu Lukaku after the pair put their differences aside on Monday. The German was openly critical of an interview conducted by the Blues frontman, which included claims that he was unhappy at Stamford Bridge and strongly suggested that he would be open to an Inter Milan return.
Lukaku was left out of Chelsea’s squad to face Liverpool on Sunday, despite the potentially huge implications of the result on the Premier League title race.
A thrilling contest finished 2-2, but it left Blues fans wondering what might have transpired had their star striker started the game.
The £98million summer arrival was gradually returning to form after a long spell on the side-lines due to a twisted ankle.
But a controversial interview with Sky Italia caused outrage among fans as the 28-year-old made worrying claims about his Chelsea future.
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“He is aware of what happened and [what] he created and feels the responsibility to clean the mess up, but there may still be a smell of course,” said Tuchel.
“We are happy that he is our player and we will protect him.
“If someone strongly disagrees, this is about the team with everything we do. There was never the slightest behaviour against the team.
“These are very important points to understand that it is not as big as people want it to be. It is also not small, but small enough to stay calm, to accept an apology and to move on.
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“We are happy that we took the time to look calmly on it, this is what we did. He apologised and is back in the squad for training today.
“The most important thing was to understand and believe it was not intentional.”
With Lukaku back in training, he could be in contention to start against Tottenham on Wednesday evening for their EFL Cup semi-final first-leg clash.
As the Premier League title slips further away, attaining such silverware will grow in importance for Tuchel and co. this campaign, so the German may opt to pull out all the stops.
On Tuesday, however, he confirmed that Trevoh Chalobah will miss the tie, Andreas Christensen is a doubt and Timo Werner has only had one training session.
Tuchel also touched on Thiago Silva, who delighted fans by putting pen to paper on contract extension this week.
“He is the Benjamin Button of football,” he added.
“I know how much effort he puts in to stay fit, taking care of his recovery, his sleep, nutrition, it is simply outstanding.
“The new contract makes him calm and Thiago needs to be calm. He can help so much. He has huge targets to reach.”
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