Ziyech reveals Chelsea squad reaction to Lukaku interview

Will Ford
Man City Chelsea F365

Hakim Ziyech has revealed the Chelsea squad’s reaction to Romelu Lukaku’s infamous interview and praised the striker’s performance in the in over Spurs.

Lukaku was axed from the Blues’ Premier league clash with Liverpool after holding an interview with Sky Sports Italia in which he said he was “not happy” with his situation at Chelsea.

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Manager Thomas Tuchel left him out of the squad as he felt the situation had become “too noisy” and Lukaku later apologised for what he had said.

The 28-year-old returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday as Chelsea outplayed Spurs in the League Cup semi-final to claim a 2-0 first leg win.

And Ziyech praised his teammate’s performance at Stamford Bridge and played down the fallout from the interview.

Asked about how the players treated Lukaku after the interview, Ziyech told Viasport: “The only thing we can do is support him and make him not think about other things, just about the game – and I think that’s what we did the last couple of days.

“Like I said, that’s why we’re teammates, to support each other, and that’s what we did.

“And I think even he was really sharp today and had a good performance.”

Tuchel was pleased with the response he saw from Lukaku against Spurs: “I’m happy with the performance, I liked it.

“He was strong, he was involved, he showed huge commitment in our defensive work which was important, and he was dangerous, always used his body well and was always involved in dangerous situations.

“I expected it because Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. He seemed to be relaxed after a decision was made and after we finished talks and he knew what was going on, I felt him relax enough to have a performance like this.”

Tuchel added that he was pleased in which the Lukaku saga had been brought to a close, having held “very quick, very open” discussions with the Chelsea board.

“We have a very open, close relationship and we can find very quick solutions, without any political interference, putting every disturbing factor aside and just looking at the issue isolated on the moment and from there we went.

“And it was very nice to be a part of it. Between Petr, Marina and me it was very calm, very quick and very open.”