Lukaku brings new dimension to Chelsea, says Tuchel after Arsenal win | Arsenal
Thomas Tuchel has suggested Romelu Lukaku give Chelsea ‘another dimension’ after the £ 97.5million striker scored in his first appearance after re-signing on the 2-0 cruise from Sunday at Arsenal.
The defeat intensified the already considerable pressure on defiant Mikel Arteta, whose squad – admittedly weakened by Covid – not only lost their first two games of the season but have yet to score a goal.
Not that the Arsenal manager seemed disheartened by a fairly complete home loss with a goal from the excellent Reece James as well. “I see a team that has never given up,” said Arteta, whose new Brighton central defensive signing Ben White was not available to mark Lukaku after testing positive. Along with Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, White was one of Arsenal’s key player quartets sidelined by a virus that left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only fit enough for a starting spot on the bench as Tuchel’s team polished their credentials.
“Chelsea were the better team,” admitted Arteta, whose side have been booed and surely cannot afford too many defeats. “When they play at their best, which they did today, they are European champions. They have world class players and reaching that level is difficult, but my team has never given up. Our attitude was exceptional.
“We were missing nine big, big players and I see a lot of positives. It’s a tough time but I saw a good reaction to falling behind. My team is playing with a lot of courage. They are doing their best.
This is only the third time that Arsenal have lost the first two games of a season and their manager could almost certainly do without the trip to Manchester City on Saturday. Nonetheless, Arteta presented a decidedly courageous face to the outside world. “Self-pity doesn’t help,” he said. “You have to win football matches but I think everyone can see that right now we don’t have the squad we want and it seems to be getting harder every day.
“My young players give their best but you can’t ask the fans to be patient. They want to see the team win – it’s passion and as it should be. But it’s difficult.
“I don’t think this club in its history has faced anything like this, but we have to take up this challenge. The ranking is not decided in August and the worst thing we can do is throw in the towel. We are certainly not going to do it. “
At least Arsenal won’t have to face Lukaku and Chelsea every week. “Romelu is a very smart guy and a very Democratic leader,” Tuchel said after watching a center forward who started his career at Stamford Bridge turn his team into title contenders. “He’s been dangerous all along. There is room for improvement and we need to work on the details but it was a great start. He bonded very well with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz.
“I definitely think no one likes playing against him, everyone is aware of his physique, his bonding game and his ability to attack space. It gives another dimension to our game.
He has the whole package; he has always been a Chelsea fan whose dream was to succeed here.
“It was a perfect start. We didn’t concede a goal and we have two wins. It’s a London derby, it gives us a lot of confidence.
Tuchel dismissed suggestions that James suffered a concussion in the second half.
“He was not at all unconscious,” he said. “He was afraid he had broken a tooth. That’s why he looked shocked.