Romelu Lukaku’s impressive return to Chelsea continued on Tuesday night as he scored the winner against Zenit St. Petersburg at Stamford Bridge in the Blues’ Champions League opener.
It means he now has four goals in four games under Thomas Tuchel following his £97million move from Inter Milan in the summer and he has already become the club talisman.
Chelsea were eager to get the defence of their European Championship off to the perfect start but Zenit proved stubborn opposition as the hosts were made to wait until the 69th minute for the only goal of the game.
When it came, it was created by the man who lifted the famous trophy in Porto, Cesar Azpilicueta curling a brilliant cross towards Lukaku.
The striker rose highest and directed his header with unerring accuracy inside the near post, leaving Lukaku celebrating his third goal in front of a home crowd in four days.
After full-time he took to Twitter to deliver his post-match thoughts. They were short but sweet and filled with the determination that has personified Tuchel’s Chelsea side so far.
Writing alongside a photograph of him celebrating on the night, Lukaku issues a simple two-word verdict of: “Good start.” He followed it up with “let’s go, @Chelsea”.
Tuchel also once again praised the impact of his big summer signing.
In his post-match press conference, the Chelsea boss said: “The performance from Romelu was not easy. We didn’t create many chances for him, we did not create many deliveries. But he’s the type of guy who doesn’t lose confidence and belief. And that is why he is here and makes him a world-class striker.”
Next up for Chelsea is a clash with Tottenham Hotspur in north London and, following the convincing defeat Nuno Espirito Santo’s men suffered at the hands of Crystal Palace, Lukaku will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing them.
The Blues have 10 points from four games so far in the Premier League and sit joint top of the division alongside Manchester United and Liverpool.