Football

Win over Malmo gives Chelsea double injury blow

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had recently talked about pairing Borussia Dortmund's red-hot striker Erling Haaland with Romelu Lukaku in the future.

But he would gladly do with the services of the Norwegian now, after losing both Lukaku and Timo Werner to injury in a 4-0 win over Malmo in a Champions League, Group H tie yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The European champions won easily with goals from Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz and two penalties by Jorginho, but paid a heavy price.

Lukaku fell victim to a clumsy tackle in the 18th minute and Werner pulled up clutching his hamstring just before half-time.

"We have a twist of the ankle for Romelu and muscle injury and hamstring for Timo," Tuchel said. "They will be some time out."

But he did not regret playing Lukaku, who had been on a six-game barren spell before the match at Stamford Bridge.

"It was maybe the moment to give him confidence and let him play," Tuchel said. "We don't want these problems too often but it happens during a season."

The duo's unavailability will be music to the ears of Norwich City boss Daniel Farke. The Canaries are bottom of the table and visit the leaders tomorrow.

With the win over Malmo, Chelsea are second in Group H, three points behind Juventus who pipped Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 at the Gazprom Arena, thanks to Dejan Kulusevski's 86th-minute winner.

In Group E, Bayern Munich thrashed Benfica 4-0 without coach Julian Nagelsmann, who had taken ill and later tested positive for Covid-19. Leroy Sane scored twice as the German side consolidated their lead at the top of the group.

After two losses, Barcelona got off the bottom of Group E with a 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev, thanks to Gerard Pique's strike at a half-empty Nou Camp. - AFP, REUTERS

Football