Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has defended Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku after the Belgium forward missed several chances in the goalless draw against Croatia that cost Belgium a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.
Since joining Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea last summer, Lukaku has made just two appearances since August for his club due to injury and showed understandable signs of rustiness in front of goal, missing a glut of chances that he would ordinarily have expected to bury.
Lukaku told the BBC: “We all did (felt sorry for Lukaku) but we cannot put the blame on someone who has been injured the last two months, he comes on for 30 minutes and you want him to win the game.
“As a striker he should have been a bit more on his toes but it’s very difficult to blame him for this.”
Lukaku’s first miss was, arguably, his worst when he struck the inside of the post from just seven yards with the goalkeeper way out of position, but again Drogba sympathised.
He said: “I think it’s difficult. The defender is in front of you and the goalkeeper, this is his right foot, the way his body is pointing towards goal it’s difficult to turn twist and score. It’s difficult.”
Drogba believes it would be unfair for him to shoulder the burden and pointed to the disharmony in the squad as the main reason for Belgium’s downfall.
Drogba added: “You need a few more games to find the rhythm. I think a player like Inzaghi would score, he would always be on his toes.
“I think he’s frustrated not only because he missed the goals but the spirit of this team during the tournament.
“The talks, the fights between players this is what he’s frustrated about more than the goals he missed I think.”