Chelsea suffer injury nightmare as Lukaku and Werner forced off in first half against Malmo

Romelu Lukaku was forced off with an ankle injury during the first half of Chelsea's Champions League clash with Malmo, with strike partner Timo Werner sidelined soon after.

Lukaku lasted less than 20 minutes of the encounter at Stamford Bridge before he was withdrawn following a heavy tackle.

It could prove a blow to Chelsea, who are looking for success in both their European defence and in the Premier League this season - and matters got worse when Werner also had to go off before the break.

What happened?

Chelsea were already leading 1-0 through Andreas Christensen's ninth-minute opener when Lukaku pushed forward looking for a second. 

The Belgium international burst into the area after trading passes with Werner, but found Malmo defender Lasse Nielsen in his way. 

Nielsen's tackle sent Lukaku tumbling to the ground, winning the Blues a penalty, but the forward did not come out of the encounter unscathed as he went down and required several minutes of treatment on the pitch. 

Lukaku was eventually able to take to his feet and limp off, with Kai Havertz sent into the action as his replacement. 

Back on the field, Jorginho converted the kick to put the Blues 2-0 ahead and well on the way to their second Champions League victory of the season after winning the title in 2020-21. 

Thomas Tuchel was given another headache before half-time, as Werner went off in the 42nd minute, Callum Hudson-Odoi coming on.

Tuchel's reaction 

"We have a twist of the ankle for Romelu, and a muscle injury and hamstring for Timo, so they will be some days out I guess," the Chelsea boss explained to BT Sport after full time when asked about the pair.

"Normally we are in a good place injury wise, only Christian Pulisic is out, but we miss everybody. We have a lot of games, lot fo competitions, so now we have to deal and find solutions, no excuses.

"The two were in good shape, they are dangerous and can create and score so now we need to find solutions and guys who waited for their chance need to step up and score.

"The race is on, the guys who start against Norwich have our trust and we will try to find new solutions.

"We have won games before with Werner and Lukaku, we don't want these problems too often but it happens during a season."

The bigger picture

Chelsea will hope neither Lukaku nor Werner has suffered a serious physical problem, which would leave them light on forward options.

Lukaku has impressed since returning to Chelsea from Inter in the summer, scoring three goals in seven Premier League appearances so far as the Blues have fought to the top of the table while also scoring the winner in their 1-0 Champions League defeat of Zenit in the first match of Group H. 

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