Chelsea-loving ‘sex symbol of Russia’ makes cheeky Lukaku jibe
Russian Playboy model Maria Liman has been a regular at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home in recent weeks, watching the drama unfold as Romelu Lukaku – who owner Roman Abramovich backed the club to make their record signing in August 2021 – was disciplined for criticizing boss Thomas Tuchel's system in an interview.
The $130 million forward angered some fans by suggesting that he ultimately wants to return to Italy, where he enjoyed huge personal and collective success with Inter Milan as the Serie A giants won the league in the 2020/21 season.
That led to Lukaku being dropped by Tuchel for one game, and the striker has since returned to the starting lineup, playing the full 90 minutes in an impressive 2-0 home win for his side on Sunday over London rivals Tottenham, who are now managed by his former boss at Inter, Antonio Conte.
"Honestly, I went to the stadium and hoped that Lukaku would not play today," confessed Liman, voicing her opinion on the Belgium striker who went a third game without adding to his modest total of five Premier League goals so far this season.
"But after looking at his game, I realized that he just wanted to go back to Milan go shopping for discounts. He still loves us."
The self-declared 'sex symbol of Russia' took fans on a video journey of her day out at the club's famous home, heading to the hospitality section and one of the best seats in the house.
"Guys, once again I repeat for those who are very interested – I do not sleep with Abramovich," she assured her Instagram following of more than 1.2 million before kick-off, predicting a 2-1 win for the businessman's players. "I do not sleep with Abramovich. I just love Chelsea."
Liman once again appeared to pay little attention to the cold winter temperatures in the UK, wearing a low-cut, short-sleeved blue top that bared her midriff as she sampled the action and catering courtesy of the Champions League winners.
As Liman joined a mob of fans filling the streets outside the stadium afterwards, she described the jubilant scenes as "crazy" in the aftermath of a much-needed first league win in five for Tuchel's team.
On the pitch, Morocco livewire Hakim Ziyech broke the deadlock with a masterful finish two minutes after the break, with veteran center-back Thiago Silva nodding a second for Chelsea eight minutes later.
The victory cemented Chelsea in third place in the table, moving them nine points clear of Manchester United, who have two games in hand on the Blues.
Chelsea are a point behind Liverpool after playing two games more than Jurgen Klopp's side and trail leaders Manchester City, who have one game in hand on them, by ten points.
Glamorous Liman will not have a chance to watch Chelsea at home in the Premier League again until March 12, when they host Newcastle.
Third-tier team Plymouth head to the Bridge in the FA Cup on February 5, and French side Lille visit Chelsea in the Champions League round of 16 on February 22.
"Today was a very cool game," said Liman, who clearly cherishes being in the stands. "Thank you, Chelsea, for an unforgettable evening."