Chelsea: Christian Pulisic will be RAGING after being dropped for clash against Madrid, Joe Cole says
Christian Pulisic will be RAGING after being dropped for Chelsea’s pivotal clash against Real Madrid, says Joe Cole, after scoring an away goal in the first leg … but admits Kai Havertz played ‘himself’ on the team.
- Christian Pulisic should rage after being impeached for Chelsea, experts say
- Thomas Tuchel chose Kai Havertz in his midfield for the crucial showdown with Real Madrid
- Joe Cole said he would be ‘furious’ if he were the American star after first-leg heroism
- Pulisic scored the away goal at the Bernabeu in the Champions League match
Christian Pulisic has the right to ‘rage’ with rage after Thomas Tuchel dropped him for Chelsea’s pivotal Champions League semi-final return leg against Real Madrid, Joe Cole says.
The US winger scored a vital away goal last week at the Bernabeu in the first leg, but his German boss chose to play Kai Havertz behind Timo Werner in attacking midfield, with the former Dortmund star relegated to the bench.
With the draw subtly 1-1 after Karim Benzema’s leveler, Tuchel looked for a solid display from his Blues side, knowing a zero would carry them through to the Champions League final.
Christian Pulisic should be furious after being impeached for Chelsea’s clash against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Joe Cole said.
Pulisic was the hero when he scored a vital away goal in the first leg, but was dropped by Tuchel
Cole admitted he was surprised by the decision, but admitted that Kai Havertz deserved to start
The Blues eventually sealed their place in the final against Manchester City with a 2-0 win over a below par Madrid team, with Timo Werner and Mason Mount on target.
But while Havertz has seen an improvement in form in recent weeks, pundit Cole – who played 281 times for the club – admitted to being shocked to see Pulisic being left out a week ago despite his heroism.
He admitted that Havertz would give Tuchel the opportunity to connect well with attacker Werner and leave him behind.
“I’m surprised,” he said before the match against BT Sport. Havertz has joined the team. Werner runs off the ball better than anyone else in this squad. Pulisic runs with the ball. When I’m Pulisic, I rage. Because it is a big game.
Havertz has delivered an improved performance for Chelsea lately and got the nod
“But Havertz is in because he can get out of the pockets and find room for Werner to run after him.”
Fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand agreed with his former England teammate, saying Pulisic will remain ‘smoking’ but said Tuchel had done well by nodding Werner over his link-up play.
“If I’m Pulisic you’d be furious,” he added. “But what Werner does give you is that, while setting his lines every now and then, he gives the players opportunities to be creative.”
When discussing his team roster for the game, Tuchel admitted that Pulisic had gotten ‘a bad message’, but insisted Havertz would help the team with his air skills – he told the disappointed American to think about the needs of the plow.
Tuchel said Pulisic got a ‘bad message’ but urged him to think about the team
The American star has not had a productive season, while Havertz is improving under Tuchel
“Unfortunately, he got bad news for Christian today,” said Tuchel. “But I’m sure we need more than eleven today to sneak through.
“It’s good to have Christian from the couch, Kai gives us height from the set and he can keep the ball.”
Pulisic eventually came on for Havertz, who provided the assist for Werner’s opener, with the American himself receiving an assist as he pulled the ball back to Mount to score the second goal.
It wasn’t the best campaign for Pulisic or Havertz – who came over from Bayer Leverkusen for £ 68m last summer, but failed to impress with just four goals in the Premier League.
Three of those made it into his last three league games after showing signs of life under Tuchel’s leadership. Pulisic has the same number of goals in the top flight – and two more to come in the Champions League.