News Matches
Chelsea

Pulisic 'dumbfounded' by Tuchel as Chelsea winger claims manager misled him before Champions League semi-final

19:41 EAT 20/09/2022
Pulisic Chelsea 2020-21
Christian Pulisic said he was misled by Thomas Tuchel before Chelsea's 2020-21 Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
  • Pulisic 'dumbfounded' by Tuchel decision
  • Last-minute change to start Havertz
  • Chelsea winger opens up in new book

WHAT HAPPENED? Pulisic scored in Madrid in the first leg, admitting that he had defied Tuchel's instructions in the buildup. After that, he was assured he would start in the second leg, but was instead left on the bench before coming on to provide an assist.

WHAT THEY SAID: "What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me," Pulisic writes in his new book 'Christian Pulisic: My Journey So Far'. "l’d had a really good first leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and as a result I didn’t play a single minute in the Fulham game.

"Then on match day of the second semi, Tuchel tells me he’s changed his mind and he’s going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed. I thought that I’d earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously I was going to start. So by the time he brought me on with about 25 minutes left, I was just so wound up."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The excerpt offers some insight into the relationship between Tuchel and Pulisic, with reports saying that relationship broke down by the time Tuchel was dismissed earlier this season. Tuchel's hiring was initially seen as a big boost for Pulisic, who had worked with the manager at Borussia Dortmund, but he found himself out of the German's first choice XI for much of his tenure.

IN A PHOTO:

The USMNT star doesn't look impressed...

WHAT NEXT FOR PULISIC? The winger is currently with the U.S. men's national team for friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia. He'll return to Chelsea after those final two pre-World Cup matches, with the Blues set to face Crystal Palace on October 1.