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Tuchel lauds ‘decisive’ Lukaku for inspiring Chelsea to victory over Zenit

Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Tuchel - Chelsea
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The Belgian marksman was once again on target as the titleholders made a winning start to their European campaign.

Thomas Tuchel praised Romelu Lukaku after he inspired Chelsea to a victory over Zenit Saint Petersburg on Tuesday night.

Zenit were solid at the back for the most part, but their defense got breached at minute 69 when Cesar Azpilicueta sent a great ball over the top for Romelu Lukaku, who rose high to head the ball in the back of the net.

The goal, which was the striker’s fourth one in as many games since his return to the club on a blockbuster transfer last month, was enough for Chelsea to collect all three points in the Champions League group stage matchday 1 and maintain their unbeaten run in the season.

“It was an excellent header [from Lukaku for the goal], a well-timed cross by [Cesar] Azpilicueta,┬áTuchel told┬áBBC Sport after the full-time whistle.┬á

“He was brave enough to step up and we had bodies in the box. That’s why he is here. He likes to score and he’s decisive for us.”

Tuchel added on the result: “I’m really happy with the win. Today was a better performance than the weekend [a 3-0 win over Aston Villa]. We have to keep growing.

“One game at a time. Today is the first game [in the Champions League]. Now we have a difficult game at the weekend against Tottenham.”