Todd Boehly was left with his head in his hands after Chelsea blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Wolves in the Premier League.
Wolves captain Conor Coady salvaged a draw with an added-time header to startle the Blues, who had surged into a 2-0 second-half lead thanks to Lukaku’s clever double.
Incoming Chelsea owner Boehly was on hand at Stamford Bridge only hours after reaching a purchase deal with Roman Abramovich to acquire the west London club.
The 46-year-old US billionaire was perplexed by VAR, elated by Lukaku’s return to form – his first league goals since December – and dejected by the Blues’ failure to hold on to a winning position.
Chelsea’s club-record acquisition for £98 million The Blues should have won thanks to Lukaku’s brace, but Wolves had other plans, with Francisco Trincao and then Coady turning the game on its head.
Trincao’s magnificent 18-yard attempt drew Wolves back into the game, with the 22-year-old believing he had squandered an even better opportunity.
Coady came to his teammate’s and Wolves’ rescue, nodding home Chiquinho’s cross to stun Chelsea.
Lukaku’s first league goals since the 1-1 home draw with Brighton on December 29 increased his season total to 14 in all competitions, putting him in sole possession of the Blues’ top scorer spot.
That brace should have pushed Chelsea one step closer to Champions League qualifying.
Instead, the Blues must continue in inconsistent form, with a loss and two draws in their previous three games.
Lukaku provided some hope for the future, but his performance was overshadowed by the Blues’ loss of their winning position.
The 28-year-old parted out with Chelsea and manager Thomas Tuchel at the start of the year after revealing his discontent in west London in a scathing interview with Sky Italia.
During the backlash, Lukaku apologized to Chelsea internally, with Sky Italia only revealing the interview over a week after it was done.
The interview’s effect had been heightened by the delay, with Lukaku looking to have turned a turnaround and been back in the goals around Christmas.
Since then, the former Manchester United and Inter Milan striker has battled for flow and rhythm, and worries about his long-term future have persisted.
Chelsea would almost certainly want to make good on their record investment in Lukaku rather than cut their losses.
Perhaps the presence of the club’s soon-to-be new owner gave Lukaku the boost he needed.
The muscular Belgian forced a penalty in the second half, dragging Romain Saiss into a trip in the area.
Chelsea’s number nine stepped up and buried the penalty shot with ease, easing tensions after a shaky and goalless first half.
After latching onto Christian Pulisic’s clever through pass, Lukaku tucked home a beautiful finish only two minutes later.
Wolves gave up possession cheaply, but Pulisic completed an energetic second half with a brilliant piece of fast thinking that resulted in a vital goal.
Chelsea’s two-goal lead relieved the tension at Stamford Bridge, and the Blues were poised to go on and cruise to a comfortable win.
However, just as the hosts seemed to have the game under control, Trincao sprang up with that exquisite finish to add to the Blues’ tense stress.
Trincao should have snatched a point, only to squander an easier opportunity than his goal, leaving Chelsea with damp brows.
Coady still had time to surprise the hosts with a headed goal that sent the traveling supporters into a frenzy.
The only intrigue in the first half came from Ruben Loftus-Cheek being denied the first goal owing to offside after a VAR assessment.
Boehly seemed perplexed as both sets of supporters chanted expletives in displeasure at the clumsy equipment.
Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly’s group is only a Premier League and Government permission away from taking control at Stamford Bridge, with Abramovich ready to sell the club after 19 years in charge.
The new Chelsea manager was barely minutes away from celebrating a triumph, but he was as surprised as the Blues players that the hosts had failed to seal the victory.