Chelsea: Tuchel sends Pulisic message amid frustration
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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s shout to Christian Pulisic was overheard in the club’s victory over Sheffield United on Sunday. The Blues won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. And they’ll now face Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Chelsea were too strong for Sheffield United on Sunday.
Oliver Norwood’s own goal gave them the lead, with the Blues then doubling their lead in the second half through Hakim Ziyech.
It was a positive afternoon for Chelsea but Pulisic struggled throughout the showdown, with poor finishing preventing him from getting on the scoresheet.
And Goal claim Tuchel was overheard barking orders at the USA international, telling him to use his pace to get in behind the visitors’ Phil Jagielka.
That didn’t really happen, with the former Everton defender preventing Pulisic from getting many opportunities throughout the game.
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And the Chelsea star admitted he was disappointed to have failed to find the net against the Blades, saying afterwards: “We knew it was going to be uncomfortable with a bit of pressure, but we had to be strong and defend, so in the end I was happy.
“I had a few chances myself that I could have done better with, but in the end we got the two goals.”
Tuchel has started Pulisic just three times since replacing Frank Lampard.
But with the American struggling for opportunities, there’s been talk of a potential move away from west London at the end of the campaign.
And former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel has expressed a belief Pulisic would be the perfect signing for Jurgen Klopp’s side, saying: “I think Liverpool’s system is a good one for Christian, without a doubt.
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“He’s very quick, his first steps are quick and even when he gets going, he’s very quick.
“The pressing style that Jurgen Klopp likes to play under, then the quick counterattack and the runs through the lines, I think he would be able to perform very well in that system.
“Again, I have no idea if that’s a player that they’re looking at, but that type of system would be ideal for someone like Christian.
“Pulisic has the potential to be the most successful American player in mainland Europe but it is still relatively early days with a new head coach at Chelsea who I hope he can do well under.
“At the beginning of the season, he was unplayable at times and doing really, really well.
“Let’s just see how it goes for the US. He is our best attacking player, and we’ve got a few of them. We need him to stay injury-free, that’s for sure.”
Tuchel, meanwhile, felt his Chelsea side were fortunate to emerge victorious on Sunday.
“On the 14th match in a row, I could feel us after the Atletico game a bit tired, there was a big relief in the team, and that is absolutely normal,” he said.
“It was also a huge effort mentally against Atletico.
“Then you have a lot of changes, made from me of course, and you have players leaving right now for international duties, so there is a lot to organise, and many unclear situations.
“It was a moment where we arrived yesterday where I didn’t feel 100 per cent comfortable or sure that we could continue on the same level.
“I said to the team before, don’t over-expect from ourselves in the situation. Put in a serious performance, take the little details, but don’t over-expect.
“The first half was okay, the second half when there was the chance for Christian Pulisic that we didn’t take, then we lost control, concentration, a bit of momentum and there were many minutes we had to suffer.
“They had two big chances and we were lucky to escape with a clean sheet. But there are a lot of circumstances to explain it, and it’s OK.
“After 14 matches the target was to go to the quarter-finals [of the Champions League] and to Wembley, and the team have achieved both of the targets so big compliments to them and well done.”
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