Tuchel revelas why he benched Lukaku for the FA Cup semis against Crystal Palace
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Tuchel revelas why he benched Lukaku for the FA Cup semis against Crystal Palace

Romelu Lukaku is still not fit enough to start for Chelsea, according to Thomas Tuchel, following his benching in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.

The 28-year-old has missed Chelsea's last four matches due to an Achilles issue.

While Kai Havertz has performed admirably in Lukaku's absence, Tuchel has chosen to start the versatile German in attack with Timo Werner, who has scored three goals in his past two games.

Lukaku, on the other hand, will be seeking to make an impression after scoring only four goals in all competitions for Chelsea since the start of 2022.

When asked about the decision to bench Lukaku for the match, Tuchel replied: ‘Romelu is not fit enough to play 90 minutes, not fit enough for the intensity of our game in an FA Cup semi-final.

‘It’s not easy to come into a game such as this with so much riding on it after a spell out with injury.

‘It’s just a case of him not having as much minutes recently as the other players, his match fitness is not quite there otherwise there’s a big chance that he would have started today.’

The Blues play Arsenal next in the Premier League.

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