The Blues’ record signing managed just two shots during a lucky 2-1 victory over League One opposition at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon
Chelsea needed Marcos Alonso’s extra-time victory and a late Kepa Arrizabalaga penalty save to avoid a fourth-round FA Cup defeat at the hands of Plymouth Argyle on Saturday afternoon.
A home encounter against League One opponents appeared to be a favourable draw for the Blues, a simple task ahead of their departure for the Club World Cup.
Despite the absence of Thomas Tuchel, who tested positive for Covid-19, Chelsea played a full-strength team at Stamford Bridge, with record signing Romelu Lukaku leading the charge following a much-needed winter break.
However, the £98 million ($136 million) man struggled against opponents that many anticipated him to demolish.
Tuchel’s favoured system is similar to Conte’s in that it also has a back three, but there is a significant variation in attack, with Lukaku typically operating as a lone striker flanked by two wide attackers rather than in a front two.
This is an issue for Lukaku for a number of reasons.
For starters, he must perform the tasks of a target man, such as taking up possession with his back to goal in central areas, holding the ball up, and feeding runners on either side of him.
Because Inter lacked wide forwards, Lukaku was able to spend more time in his preferred inside-right position, where he could gather the ball looking forwards and push towards goal.
Many of the best performances of his career have come from that area.
The Blues manager will be well aware that his team’s chances of success this season are dependent on Lukaku scoring goals again, as he cannot continue to rely on full-backs and goalkeepers to bail them out.