Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has revealed that he was left “dumbfounded” by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to leave him out of last year’s game vs Real Madrid.
It is no surprise that Pulisic is the first player to come out and speak negatively about Tuchel following the managrer’s exit earlier this month.
The USA international was often a bit-part player under the ex-PSG boss and he was linked with a move away from Chelsea in the summer just gone.
A loan move to Man Utd was said to be on the table but this did not end up coming to fruition.
Chelsea spent £58m to sign Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund and up to now, this has proved to be a waste of money.
The midfielder will hope that Graham Potter’s arrival will help him to return to his best, though.
Tuchel helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2021. Before beating Man City in the final, they got the better of Real Madrid in the semi-final.
Pulisic has revealed that he was promised a start in the second leg vs Madrid and he was “disappointed” that Tuchel changed his mind:
“What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me,” Pulisic said (via The Daily Mail).
“I’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.”
Pulisic scored the opening goal for Chelsea in the first leg against Real Madrid last year after being played in by Antonio Rudiger.
The 24-year-old went onto reveal that this goal came about after he ignored an instruction from Tuchel:
“The untold story behind that goal is that when [Antonio] Rüdiger has the ball, I can see he’s looking to play it long over the top and I started my run to get in behind the Madrid backline,” Pulisic continued.
“But as I take off on the run, I hear Thomas Tuchel yelling from the sideline, ‘Christian, stay in the pocket, don’t make the run!’ But I just had the feeling I’d find the space and get on the end of the pass, so I continued the run.
“I cut across the front of Nacho and behind [Raphaël] Varane. When I got the ball I thought I was going to have to shoot straight away, but then I realized that I had far more time than I thought I would have because Nacho had run to cover the goal line and Varane was more concerned about marking the arrival into the box of [Timo] Werner.
“So I thought that I would create a better angle for myself by rounding Courtois and then being able to pick my spot.”
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