Christian Pulisic scored his first Chelsea goal of 2021, but his second start under Thomas Tuchel was cut short by an apparent injury.
Pulisic scored for Chelsea for the first time in almost four months, delivering the opener in a 5-2 home loss to West Bromwich Albion. The U.S. Men’s National Team star scored in the 27th minute off a rebound following a free kick to record his first Chelsea goal since a Dec. 5 finish against Leeds United.
The winger was subbed off at halftime on Saturday, with Chelsea trailing 2-1 and down a man after a 29th minute Thiago Silva red card. Video replays showed Pulisic running onto the field with the rest of the Chelsea lineup after the break, only to turn around and tell head coach Thomas Tuchel that the American was dealing with some sort knock. Tuchel proceeded to insert Mason Mount as a replacement.
NBCSN had footage of what happened with Pulisic’s sub at half. He ran 10 yards to a cone, complained about his hamstring and Tuchel did not look happy about it pic.twitter.com/TtSeb7BbP7
— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) April 3, 2021
The Blues eventually went on to suffer a 5-2 loss, the first loss of Tuchel’s tenure as Chelsea manager. The defeat cut into Chelsea’s hold on a top-four spot in the English Premier League.
Making just his second start since the German replaced Frank Lampard, Pulisic opened the scoring near the hour-mark after he raced onto a loose ball following a set piece and bundled home his second Premier League goal of the season.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) April 3, 2021
Silva’s ejection just two minutes later changed the game, though, and Chelsea went into halftime trailing 2-1.
Pulisic’s goal marked his second in a week, following his converted penalty kick for the USMNT in a 2-1 win vs. Northern Ireland last Sunday. Pulisic played the full 90 minutes against Northern Ireland as the Americans’ captain.
The 22-year-old attacker’s apparent new injury issue comes at a busy time for Chelsea, which kicks off its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series with FC Porto on Wednesday. It is also the latest knock in a season in which he has struggled to stay healthy.
Pulisic has made 11 league starts in 20 appearances this season for Chelsea, but Saturday’s start was just his second under Tuchel. His availability for Chelsea’s upcoming matches is in question now, including a looming FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City on April 17.