Chelsea star Christian Pulisic reveals how his bad blood with Thomas Tuchel started
The American international was dumbfounded at the fact that he was dropped for the second leg of the semi-final tie against Real Madrid in the Champions League in 2021.
He scored in the first leg and played well but was told by Tuchel that he is being given a rest for the Fulham game before the second leg. The German then changed his mind and opted to start Kai Havertz for the European clash.
Here’s an excerpt from Pulisic’s autobiography -‘Christian Pulisic: My Journey So Far’ regarding this situation (h/t Daily Mail):
“I’d had a really good first leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the Premier League. Tuchel told me he was resting for the second leg and as a result I didn’t play a single minute against Fulham.
Then, on match day of the second semi, Tuchel tells he’s changed his mind and he is going for Kai. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed.”
The 24-year-old also revealed that he was given assurances by the manager that he would start the second leg, only to come on for the final 25 minutes.
Pulisic shared the fact that the decisive goal in the first leg wouldn’t have happened had he agreed to the instructions given by Tuchel from the touchline. He decided to make the run in behind the Madrid defence to latch on to a pass from Antonio Rudiger and score. The manager’s instruction was not to run behind and stay in the pocket.
Chelsea eventually won the Champions League that season, beating Manchester City in the final. The winger became the first American to win the biggest prize in Europe. He came on as a second-half substitute in the final.
Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea on September 7, hours after the defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in Europe. Post the sacking, reports did come out about how the wide players in the squad hated playing on the side in which the former manager was standing.
The players were sick and tired of the constant moaning and groaning from the German at any missed tackle or pass.
More Chelsea News:
- Benjamin Pavard considered leaving Bayern Munich amid interest from Chelsea
- Chelsea are interested in signing Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz
- Christoph Freund appointment could help Chelsea in signing Benjamin Sesko in the future
For Pulisic, under new manager Graham Potter, it is a fresh chance to prove his worth and grab that place back in the team. He needs to play games regularly before the upcoming World Cup in November as well.
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