• Everton defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the league Sunday
  • Chelsea have scored just two goals in their last three games
  • The Blues will next take on Wolves in the Premier League

Thomas Tuchel has explained why he benched Romelu Lukaku in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Lukaku, the $123 million club record striker, remained an unused substitute as Richarlison netted the winner for Everton at Goodison Park.

With Italy's international midfielder Jorginho forced off at the break, Tuchel did make three changes, but neither of those saw Lukaku on the field, raising questions regarding the Belgian striker's involvement in the current Chelsea setup.

When Chelsea were trailing 0-1, Tuchel opted to introduce Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. In a post-match conference, when reporters quizzed Tuchel about Lukaku being on the bench, the German boss replied, "Because we brought Jorginho off. We only had three changes."

Tuchel's side has netted just two goals in their last three Premier League outings, including their latest Merseyside trip. The Blues are also struggling to maintain clean sheets, with an error from captain Cesar Azpilicueta costing them dear at Everton, and Tuchel has admitted that there are issues for him to address.

Lukaku, who moved from Inter Milan to Chelsea last summer, has not scored a league goal for the Blues since Dec. 29, according to Transfermarkt.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku (L) walks past boss Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku (L) walks past boss Thomas Tuchel AFP / Glyn KIRK

About a lack of firepower, Tuchel said, "If there is something I can do I will try it but if I knew about it I would have done it before. For me, the key is to have a clean sheet. Manchester United was a different game, more open and fluid, finally scored late and conceded straight away."

With 66 points in 34 games, Chelsea's third place in the 2021-22 Premier League is under threat. By beating West Ham on Sunday, Arsenal took their points tally to 63 points. Spurs are not that behind with 61 points.

"For me it is more like the game against West Ham and we had a clean sheet and played without any big mistake and that gives us the chance to score late. If you install emotion and belief in a stadium like this, you struggle," added Tuchel.

Chelsea's next league fixture is against Wolves on May 7 at Stamford Bridge.