Despite firing Chelsea into the lead against Brighton this evening, Hakim Ziyech was the polar opposite of relieved at halftime as he was embroiled in an intense discussion with teammate Romelu Lukaku as the break struck.
Whilst the players were heading off the pitch after the first-half, BT Sport cameras captured an argument between the pair and from the general tone that the microphones slightly picked up it seemed clear that Ziyech and Lukaku were at odds with each other.
The attackers have experienced difficult seasons so far and this moment leaves that to remain the case for Ziyech on a night that would’ve otherwise centred on a promising contribution from the ex-Ajax star, in a campaign that has seen him play a smaller role for the team.
On the Lukaku front, the striker has dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last month and a heated discussion with a teammate, even though it was downplayed as ‘normal’ by Thomas Tuchel after the match may actually push him further away from the fans – winning them back seems a far cry right now.
Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukaku are having a difference of opinions heading into the break, despite the Blues’ lead… ?
HT: Brighton 0-1 Chelsea pic.twitter.com/P3mGXTg9bp
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 18, 2022
Pictures from BT Sport.
Tuchel said Chelsea are mentally and physically tired and too tired to celebrate Ziyech’s goal even.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 18, 2022
It’s clear that things aren’t flowing as usual for Chelsea right now, whether that is down to a rift between some of the players, the tactics set out by Tuchel or both will be tested in the coming weeks.
The Blues have only picked up two wins over their last eight Premier League matches, in an unflattering spell that has seen them draw on five occasions and in turn left them expelled from the top-flight title race.