Both Lukaku and Werner limped off the pitch during the Blues’ UEFA Champions League clash against Malmo yesterday (October 20).
Lukaku appeared to roll his ankle in the buildup to the foul that led to Jorginho scoring Chelsea’s opener from the spot. Meanwhile, Werner seemingly pulled his hamstring while making a run into the box and anticipating a cross.
Kai Havertz replaced Lukaku in the 23rd minute, while Callum Hudson-Odoi replaced Werner in the 44th minute. The duo then combined for the Blues’ third goal just three minutes into the second half.
Hudson-Odoi raced forward and sent Havertz through, with the German delicately chipping the ball over the Malmo goalkeeper. Jorginho then converted a second penalty just nine minutes later, helping Chelsea win the match 4-0.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game (via Football London), Havertz revealed his happiness with the result and performance.
“For us it is a very good result to score four goals in our stadium is always good. I think it gives us a lot of confidence. Saturday is our next match so we have to just keep on going, recover well, and be fresh on Saturday again.”
The German also expressed his concern for fellow forwards Lukaku and Werner:
“I hope the injuries aren’t so bad and I came from the bench, you always have to be ready even though you’re sitting for 20 minutes. I tried to do my best also in the second half to score a goal and it’s a nice feeling.”
“I don’t know what they have [injuries wise] but I just spoke to Timo and he said they have to see tomorrow to do an MRI. They’re top-level strikers and I just hope it’s not too bad for them.”
Despite the loss of two of their first-choice forwards, Havertz believes he and Chelsea will retain the same ambition and look to win matches going forward. He concluded:
“We know it is a very difficult competition but we have to win every game – that is our goal at Chelsea. Champions League or Premier League we don’t care, we want to win games and that’s our ambition for Saturday.”
Chelsea should be able to cope without Lukaku and Werner in the immediate future
While the absences of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are unfortunate, Chelsea will likely be able to cope without the star duo for a few weeks. Thomas Tuchel’s side boast incredible squad depth and also have a manageable set of fixtures for the next month.
The Blues will host Norwich City, who are bottom of the Premier League, this weekend before facing Southampton in the EFL Cup. They will follow that up with a Premier League encounter against Newcastle United and a second Champions League clash with Malmo.
Chelsea will then play Burnley on November 6 before a tricky assignment at Leicester City on November 20.
Both Lukaku and Werner should be fit by the time Chelsea travel to the King Power Stadium. Even if they don’t make the trip, the Blues will still count on the likes of Havertz and Hudson-Odoi to take them through their upcoming run of fixtures unscathed.