Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku needs time to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League, but insists he will not attempt to reinvent the striker.

The Belgium international returned to Stamford Bridge in a club-record transfer from reigning Serie A champions Inter in August.

However, the 28-year-old is yet to truly fire on all cylinders during his second spell with the Blues, amassing eight goals from 20 appearances in all competitions.

Lukaku was recently dropped by Tuchel following comments made in the Italian media, stating he was "not very happy with the situation" he finds himself in, while expressing a desire to return to the Nerazzurri one day.

However, the striker subsequently apologised to his manager and the fans, and was restored to the starting line-up for last week's EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Tottenham.

And Tuchel is confident it is only a matter of time until everything clicks into place for his number nine.

"Romelu had a huge physical impact in the game against Tottenham," he said. "Maybe he wasn't so spectacularly involved, but he was involved in playing a crucial part with his physical qualities.

"Once he adapts to the physical style of the league, there is no doubt he will have a huge impact. 

"We will not reinvent his style or reinvent the player. He can simply be Romelu, and then we are all fine, and then he will score because this is what he always does."

During his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s second leg against Spurs, it was suggested that Timo Werner could provide a link for Lukaku similar to Lautaro Martinez at Inter last season.

Responding to the suggestion, Tuchel said: "He could be, but I see no reason that we should copy Inter.

"We have our style and enough possibilities. We can play with two strikers; we can play 3-5-2; we have the possibility to play three strikers.

"We played a 4-4-2 against Tottenham in the first leg. I don't mean it in a harsh way; the players need to show they are good enough to start. 

"We are not inventing new stuff to make players better or happier. They have all it takes. It’s on them to show it."

Antonio Conte insists Chelsea have "created the gap" in quality between his former club and Tottenham ahead of their EFL Cup semi-final second leg.

Spurs were beaten 2-0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge last week; Kai Havertz on target for the hosts before a Ben Davies own-goal.

The Blues have progressed from each of their last 13 two-legged ties after winning the first leg, last failing to do so against Liverpool in the 2006-07 Champions League semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are looking to become only the second side – after Aston Villa in 1993-94 – to reach the EFL Cup showpiece after losing their semi-final first leg by more than one goal.

Following the defeat, Conte conceded the gulf in class by admitting there were no comparisons between the sides.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Spurs head coach clarified those comments, acknowledging his former club are responsible for their superiority.

"When I speak about the gap; to reduce the gap, it means that I am not stupid to not understand the gap between the clubs," he said.

"It means that you have to improve the squad, the work and to have a project and vision. 

"The gap is a space that you have with other teams and I think that, in this moment, we are to work a lot to reduce this gap. 

"Chelsea work well, they win the Champions League and then invest a lot of money to improve their squad. This creates a gap, this is the truth. Chelsea have created this gap."

Conte also revealed that Tottenham are in negotiations over a new deal for club captain Hugo Lloris.

Now in his 10th season with Spurs, the goalkeeper's existing contract is due to expire at the end of the campaign, but the Italian is confident he will remain with the club.

"I think they have started talking," Conte added. 

"You know what I think of him, I have said previously he is our captain and a top goalkeeper. [He] has great experience and knows the club. 

"For me, he is an important player. I am not the person who renews contracts; that is the club, and they are the people that do this, but I am confident."

Thomas Tuchel praised the performance of the returning Romelu Lukaku after Chelsea's EFL Cup win over Tottenham.

The Blues took a huge step towards reaching the final after claiming a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the last-four tie at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku was restored to the starting line-up after he was left out of the squad for Sunday's Premier League clash with Liverpool due to comments made in the Italian media.

The former Inter striker was quoted as saying he was "not very happy with the situation" he finds himself in, while expressing a desire to return to the Nerazzurri one day.

However, the Belgium international subsequently apologised to Tuchel, as well as the fans on the club's official website.

He played the full 90 minutes against Spurs – recording game-high tallies of three shots on goal and two on target – and the head coach was pleased with his contribution under difficult circumstances.

 

Asked what he made of Lukaku's performance, he told Sky Sports: "Good, absolutely happy. I was pretty sure he was not affected. 

"I see him on a daily basis. Even the last days, he seemed relaxed, fine with the situation and mentally moved on. 

"Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. It was a good performance; he contributed a lot to our defensive setup and had chances."

Tuchel also praised the focus and commitment of his players, although he believes they could have increased their margin of victory.

"It seems like a deserved win, an excellent result because it reflects the game," he added. "We could have scored more, but it is hard to score against Tottenham.

"We did create a lot – some huge chances – it could have been possible to score more.

"We never lost the focus; [we] never lost the commitment."

Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino has revealed he once broke a Guinness World Record after achieving the most high-fives in one minute.

As an 18-year-old, the Japan international conducted a total of 187 during his time at Cerezo Osaka, who had organised an event for the local community on January 14, 2014.

The unique record has since been surpassed by American Kaiser Permanente San Diego, who registered a total of 290 on April 21, 2016.

Nevertheless, it remains an achievement that Minamino remembers fondly.

"About 200 people queued up in a line in a shopping centre and, as I was the youngest player in the team, I was chosen to join them," he told Liverpool's official website.

"I had to run down the line and high-five them and I managed to make the Guinness World Records.

"It is a very good memory, and we still talk about it. Maybe, it would be good fun if I celebrated a goal for Liverpool like this!"

Minamino, who spent last season on loan at Southampton, had reason to celebrate on Wednesday as he helped Jurgen Klopp's side reach the EFL Cup semi-finals.

The forward netted a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a 3-3 draw with Leicester City, before the Reds prevailed 5-4 on penalties at Anfield despite him missing his spot-kick.

The 26-year-old has been an ever-present for Liverpool in this season’s competition, and has embraced the chances to make valuable contributions to his side's cause.

"I have been given more game time in the Carabao Cup, which is a great opportunity for me," he added.

"It is a chance to show what I can do and to prove myself, and I am happy that I could contribute to the team's wins. I hope I can continue to do more of the same.

"I would like to contribute to this club as much as possible. That is the best thing I can do."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists he wants Tuesday's EFL Cup hat-trick hero Eddie Nketiah to stay with the club amid his contract stand-off.

Nketiah is believed to be frustrated by a lack of opportunities at Arsenal, with Tuesday's cup quarter-final appearance in Arsenal's 5-1 win over Sunderland marking only his sixth this season in all competitions.

The 22-year-old's current deal expires at the end of this season and he may leave on a free transfer after turning down a new contract offer earlier this month.

"I tell you every day that we want to keep Eddie," Arteta said at the post-game news conference. "We see how he trains, that’s what he does every day, he works so hard and puts the ball in the net every session.

"I am really delighted with him. Every time we have needed him he has always responded."

He added: "We are trying [to re-sign him]. It’s not about anything else but minutes. He wants gametime, he wants to be on that field and that is the only reason to say, 'Can I do it here?' That’s the question. We all want him to stay."

Arteta has only used Nketiah three times in the Premier League this season, off the bench on all three occasions.

"The way we planned the squad and the way his situation looked in the window, he had a lot of options to go and we thought that was probably the best way to go," Arteta added.

"But the way we assembled the squad the situation changed and he decided to stay and it was hard to found minutes for him. But he’s finding the space right now and is using his minutes really well."

The Gunners boss admitted Nketiah's treble on Tuesday would boost his case for more minutes in the league.

"Recently he’s played more minutes than in the past and we’re going to need him and he’s going to play more minutes," the Spaniard said.

Arteta also labelled Charlie Patino's debut goal as a "beautiful moment" and heaped praise on Nicolas Pepe after a bright display against the Black Cats, having only been used 11 times this season.

Pepe scored Arsenal's second goal and set up their last two, including producing some wizardry down the right flank to tee up Nketiah's classy backheel finish.

"It is hard for everyone who doesn’t play," Arteta said about Pepe. "What they have to do is when they have the minutes, show on the pitch that they can do it and they are ready when the team needs him."

Hat-trick hero Eddie Nketiah saluted his team-mates after his maiden Arsenal treble in their thumping EFL Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland. 

The young striker was on target three times as the Gunners advanced to the semi-finals of the competition following a commanding 5-1 victory at Emirates Stadium.

Nketiah produced a trio of poacher's finishes; netting the rebound from Rob Holding's first-half header, before turning home inviting crosses by Nuno Tavares and Nicolas Pepe after the break.

The 22-year-old continued his love affair with the EFL Cup, having taken his career tally to 10 goals from nine appearances – and seven in five on home soil.

And he is hopeful his exploits in this competition will eventually culminate in regular Premier League opportunities.

He told Sky Sports: "It's a great feeling. I just want to say a big thank you to my team-mates. 

"I had some really good assists today; I just had to be in the right place. 

"It's great to get my first hat-trick for Arsenal in the senior team.

"This is the competition where I've been getting starts and opportunities to play. 

"Whenever I'm asked to play, I'm going to do my best to help the team. I'm ready if the manager needs me.

"I'm desperate to play football. All I can do is keep working hard and hopefully, I'll get opportunities."

Nketiah paid tribute to fellow youngster Charlie Patino, who was also on target for the hosts.

The 18-year-old substitute marked his senior debut by finding the net with a neat finish to complete the scoring.

"It's amazing for him. He's a great lad with a great future ahead of him," Nketiah added.

"I was delighted for him to get on the scoresheet. 

"These games provide a great opportunity to get your debut and impress, and I think he did that today."

Eddie Nketiah was the hat-trick hero as Arsenal marched through to the EFL Cup semi-finals after a comprehensive 5-1 win over Sunderland.

The young striker continued his impressive record in the competition, with a trio of poacher's finishes taking his tally to 10 goals in nine appearances.

Nicolas Pepe was also on target in the 27th minute for Mikel Arteta's side, who secured their first appearance in the last four since 2017-18, with the win capped off by teenager Charlie Patino.

The Gunners did concede their first goal of this season's EFL Cup courtesy of a neat Nathan Broadhead finish, but it proved a mere consolation for the League One outfit.

With 43 places separating the sides in the English football pyramid, Arsenal nearly broke the deadlock in the 12th minute; Nuno Tavares' attempted centre deflecting onto the crossbar off Elliot Embleton.

But the hosts took the lead five minutes later. Lee Burge could only parry Rob Holding's header from a Cedric corner, and Nketiah was on hand to scramble home the rebound.

Folarin Balogun went close before the Gunners doubled their advantage; Pepe playing a neat one-two with Cedric and his shot deflected in off Callum Doyle.

Sunderland responded well and halved the deficit following a quick counter that culminated in Embleton releasing the in-form Broadhead, who neatly lifted over the advancing Bernd Leno for his fifth goal in four games.

However, Arsenal restored their two-goal buffer within four minutes of the restart, Nketiah producing tremendous movement to turn home Tavares' cross at the near post.

And the striker completed his hat-trick in exquisite fashion nine minutes later, as he delightfully back-heeled Pepe's centre past a helpless Burge.

Patino put the icing on the cake in stoppage time when the youngster marked his senior debut with a neat first-time finish from Pepe's centre.

Stuart Pearce believes Manchester City showed "respect" to West Ham in their EFL Cup clash as the Hammers won 5-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Guardiola made nine changes to the side that beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday, but his line-up still featured the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

However, West Ham frustrated the competition holders - who have won the last four editions in a row - and eventually knocked them out in a penalty shootout, with Phil Foden guilty of the only miss.

West Ham first-team coach Pearce believes City were respectful towards a side that have enjoyed a strong campaign so far, sitting fourth in the league and top of their Europa League group, adding the Hammers deserved to progress.

"This is an outstanding Man City side, they came with a very strong lineup," Pearce said after the game. "That was potentially a mark of respect for us, knowing they were going to be in for a tough game.

"Man City have the majority of the possession whenever they play anyone in the world so you have to suffer without the ball. Our resilience and defensive work when they had the majority of possession was good and what we did with the ball trying to play against their press was pleasing.

"You win some, you lose some, but the resilience of the team over 90 minutes, even though we missed a couple of decent chances, with the honesty and resilience of the team, they deserved to get over the line.

"It was a really good night for the club, 60,000 in the ground, you couldn’t get a ticket for the game. It’s absolutely superb and the players deserve the credit - and a bit to our manager as well who drives this club on a daily basis. Anyone with 1,000 matches deserves to be taken seriously.

"There is a level of honesty here and hard work drives us on. We will not get ahead of ourselves and keep working."

City head coach Pep Guardiola was gracious in defeat, praising West Ham but also insisting that his side would be back in search of cup glory next season.

"An incredible run has finished," Guardiola said. "We finished in a good way. We played in a really good way, creating chances against a team who defended deep. On penalties, they were better. Congratulations to West Ham. Next year we will be back.

"One of the toughest games we played at home last season was against them. They are doing well in the Premier League and in the Europa League and now in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Fantastic team and fantastic manager."

Nuno Espirito Santo hailed the unity demonstrated by Tottenham in their 1-0 EFL Cup fourth-round win over Burnley. 

Lucas Moura's 68th-minute header proved the difference at Turf Moor as Spurs progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition for the third time in four seasons. 

The visitors were made to dig deep as Burnley pushed for an equaliser late on, but they held out for victory and a first clean sheet in 11 matches in all competitions. 

Nuno felt his players deserved credit for their application as they responded to Sunday's Premier League defeat at West Ham. 

"We did a good job controlling the way they play," he said. "We were much better in the second half in terms of mobility and dynamic.  

"The end of the match is about defending, sticking together. It's good for the team.  

"We know that games require suffering and require unity, so we must congratulate the players because they did a good job." 

One sour note saw Tottenham lose Bryan Gil to injury after just 25 minutes of the tie, with Nuno revealing they are still awaiting a full assessment of the damage. 

Last season, Spurs were runners-up to Manchester City, whose quest for a fifth straight EFL Cup triumph was ended by a penalty shoot-out defeat at West Ham on Wednesday. 

Nevertheless, Nuno was quick to play down his side's chances of going the extra step this year after booking their place alongside the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City in the quarter-final draw. 

"We cannot look much further," he added. "We came here to go through; we did it in a good way and with a good game.  

"Let's see the draw and wait for the next one. 

"There are still a lot of teams. Every team involved in the competition is an option, so let’s focus on ourselves." 

Phil Foden missed what turned out to be the decisive spot-kick as holders Manchester City were knocked out of the EFL Cup for the first time in five years on penalties following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Alphonse Areola made a number of crucial saves as the Hammers frustrated City at the London Stadium across 90 minutes, forcing a penalty shootout to settle the tie.

Foden was the only player to miss from the spot, with West Ham scoring each of their five penalties - Mark Noble netting the first and Said Benrahma scoring the last.

David Moyes' side are now through to the quarter-finals, while City's remarkable run of progressing from their last 21 League Cup ties comes to an end.

 

Lucas Moura scored the only goal as Tottenham beat Burnley 1-0 to progress to the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

The Brazilian settled the all-Premier League fourth-round clash in the 68th minute at Turf Moor, firmly planting home a header from Emerson Royal’s cross.

Victory means the 2021 finalists of this competition are through to the last eight for the third time in four years.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side also registered a first clean sheet in 11 attempts, and only a second away win in eight.

Tottenham had only lost once in their 14 previous meetings with Burnley and had a good chance after just three minutes.

Giovani Lo Celso played Harry Kane through on goal, but the England captain uncharacteristically dragged his effort wide.

Emerson came to Spurs' rescue at the other end 10 minutes later; the full-back importantly clearing Johann Gudmundsson’s deep cross with Dwight McNeil lurking.

Aiming to beat a Premier League opponent over 90 minutes for the first time in five attempts in this competition, Spurs turned up the pressure after the break.

Nick Pope produced brilliant reflexes to deny Lo Celso from Kane's through ball in the 65th minute.

However, the Burnley goalkeeper was powerless three minutes later as an unmarked Lucas – on as an early substitute for the injured Bryan Gil – headed in Emerson's cross from close range.

The hosts pushed for an equaliser late on with Ashley Barnes testing Pierluigi Gollini from distance.

However, Spurs held on and the Clarets' wait for a first quarter-final appearance since the 2008-09 season continues.

Arsenal booked their place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Leeds United thanks to goals from Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah.

Chambers headed Arsenal in front 10 minutes into the second half just moments after he had come on to the pitch as a substitute.

Nketiah scored Arsenal's second 14 minutes later when he capitalised on a weak ball back to Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Leeds, who had chances of their own in the first half, were unable to find a response as Mikel Arteta's side saw out the game without further alarm.

Arsenal showed the early intent with Nketiah's shot going just wide while Sead Kolasinac struck the side netting with a low angled attempt.

Leeds weathered the spell of pressure and then had two chances of their own before the half hour; Daniel James tamely shot at Bernd Leno when sent clear before the German produced a superb diving save to keep out Jack Harrison's rasping half-volley.

Leno was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the remainder of the half as he saved a low deflected shot from James, and was relieved to see a Tyler Roberts shot fly wide.

Arsenal were dealt a blow shortly after the interval when Ben White limped off injured, but they soon had reason to celebrate when his replacement Chambers scored with his first touch.

A corner from Smith Rowe was nodded back across by Nicolas Pepe to Chambers who saw his header blocked by Meslier but goal-line technology deemed the ball had crossed the line.

Nketiah added a second with just over 20 minutes left when he latched on to a backward header from Liam Cooper, nudged the ball over the outrushing Meslier before he shinned it into the empty net.

The goal stifled any hope of a Leeds comeback as Arteta's men saw out the remainder of the game and secured their spot in the last eight.

When it comes to winning races that count, there is hardly a better sprinter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

In eight global finals, since she won her first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, the Pocket Rocket has won six. She demonstrated that mettle once again on Friday night when she won her fourth national 100m title against a strong field on day two of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston.

The two-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in 10.71, the second-fastest time run by anyone this year, only bettered by her world-leading 10.63 run at the same venue on June 5.

Using her explosive start to her advantage, she got away from the field that was unable to close as she flashed across the finish line.

Second was Shericka Jackson, who surprised everyone when she clocked a big lifetime best of 10.77 to win her semi-final just over an hour before. She ran an equally impressive 10.82 holding off the 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in 10.84.

Briana Williams, who at 19, was the youngest in the field, finished fourth in 11.01, which earned her a place at her first Olympic Games.

There was also another surprise in the men’s 100m as Tyquendo Tracey ran 10.00 flat to edge Yohan Blake 10.01 and an ecstatic Oblique Seville, who ran a personal best 10.04 for third and booked a spot to his very first Olympic Games.

There were two runaway winners in the 400m hurdles but the more impressive of the two was Jaheel Hyde who clocked a lifetime best 48.18 to win and also exceed the Olympic standard of 48.90, which means he is also going to Tokyo this summer.

He punched the air as he crossed the line and saw the flash time on the electronic clock on the infield.

Second went to Sean Rowe who stopped the clock at 49.60, just ahead of Kemar Mowatt, who was third in 49.61.

Janieve Russell ran away with the women’s race to win in a season-best 54.07.

Ronda Whyte was second in 54.94 while Leah Nugent was third in 54.98 in a close finish that saw Shian Salmon finish fourth in 55.00.

Son Heung-min scored his 100th goal for Tottenham in all competitions as he netted against Leeds United, with Harry Kane the provider once again.

The South Korea forward, who moved to north London in 2015, has been in sensational form in 2020-21, and moved onto 99 Spurs goals with a cool finish on the break at Liverpool in December.

Son drew a blank in his next three outings, failing to find the target as Spurs went down 2-0 to Leicester City, before he had a goal disallowed in an EFL Cup win at Stoke City and then only managed one attempt at goal in a 1-1 draw with Wolves on December 27.

However, after Wednesday's scheduled game with Fulham was postponed, his landmark effort came against Leeds on Saturday.

Kane – who has now assisted nine of Son's 12 Premier League goals this term – whipped in a brilliant cross from the right, which his strike partner swept home first time.

Son's strike put Spurs 2-0 up just before half-time, with Kane's penalty having put Jose Mourinho's men ahead.

With 169 goals to his name, Kane is the only Spurs payer to have netted more goals than Son since September 2015.

It was also the 13th time Kane and Son have combined for a goal this season, which is a joint-record in a single Premier League campaign.

Son has scored 65 of his 100 Spurs goals in the Premier League – 35 coming from his right foot, 25 from his left, and the remainder with his head.

The former Bayer Leverkusen forward has also supplemented that tally with a further 33 assists, while he has scored 15 times in the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

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