Romelu Lukaku appeared dissatisfied after being substituted in Chelsea's 1-0 win against Brentford on Saturday. Ben Chilwell's stunning effort on the stroke of half-time separated the Blues and the Bees, with Thomas Tuchel's visitors edging out the three points. But Lukaku failed to score for the fourth time in a row in the Premier League, and more worryingly, the huge Belgian scarcely got a sniff.
Timo Werner's comeback in a supporting position is looking positive, but despite the danger and pace the Germany international brings, his striking partner is still finding himself alone up top.
Lukaku's anger at being substituted appeared to be twofold: obviously, no striker wants to be removed, but Chelsea's game strategy set him up to fail as well, which is why he was judged sub-par. When they were on the ball, there seemed to be little plan and they were satisfied to beat Brentford off it, until the Bees put everything at them late in the game and Edouard Mendy came to the rescue.
Brentford, as lively as they are, also give up a lot of space, but Chelsea seldom took advantage of these situations, even on the counter-attack. The European champions were put to the sword by a newly promoted club who generated nothing of their own for 75 minutes but still gave their neighbors a fright - if Kepa Arrizabalaga had been in goal instead of Mendy, Chelsea would probably not be top of the table tonight. N'Golo Kante seems to be the most likely Chelsea midfielder to produce anything (which is wonderful, but there's a limit to how good you can be if he's carrying that load).
England Star, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is starting to rediscover his form, but he isn't contributing anything yet. Mateo Kovacic was mostly ineffective, and the Blues really needed Jorginho to dictate play. Mason Mount and Kai Havertz both came on as second-half substitutes but had little impact on the game, and you'd be excused if you didn't notice they were there.
Tuchel's Borussia Dortmund team was known for their pressing and fluidity in attack, while his Chelsea team is the absolute opposite - solid and tough despite their offensive riches. For the most part, the German has gotten the best out of the players he has at his disposal. In the absence of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen was commanding, while Malang Sarr stood up on his unexpected Premier League debut.
Perhaps Chelsea is a club designed specifically for this type of play, a rare example of a squad whose mentality isn't centered on attacking. However, Liverpool and Manchester City will rarely face the same issues up front as they do, which may tip the Premier League title to the north-west of England.
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