There were plenty of bad omens ahead of Saturday’s 5-2 home defeat against West Bromwich Albion — international break, early kick-off, recent awards, various streaks, etc. — but for a brief moment, just before the half-hour mark, it looked like we might avoid being the butt of all jokes at the football gods’ weekly open mic night.
Christian Pulisic bundled home the rebound from an excellent Marcos Alonso free kick that hit the post to give Chelsea the lead in the 27th minute, and despite our sloppy play, the terrible turnovers, and overall lack of cohesion and attention, it seemed like we might avoid becoming a glitch in the Mat...ch Engine.
Alas, two minutes later Thiago Silva was sent off (harshly), fifteen minutes later Chelsea conceded twice in first-half added-on time to the same player and then without a single minute of game-time elapsing, Christian Pulisic managed to collect yet another hamstring strain. (And then West Brom scored three more times in the second half to make things extra embarrassing.)
Thomas “Welcome to the Real World” Tuchel confirmed Pulisic’s latest injury in an interview with the Chelsea website after the game.
“Christian did a sprint when he came back out for the second half and said that he felt his hamstring would not survive the game if he continued. So we had to make the decision to substitute him right away.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC via Goal
We had wondered how Timo Werner managed to stay on the pitch and why he was so late in coming out from the tunnel, but it looks like Tuchel was actually going to take him off rather than Pulisic to introduce Mason Mount. But Pulisic pulled up during the brief warm-up routine ahead of the second half kick-off, which put the team into scramble mode.
The Premier League’s USA home, NBChri-Stia-N of course had the relevant footage.
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
Pulisic thus joins N’Golo Kanté among the hamstrung, and adds yet further worry to his increasingly worrying habit of picking up hamstring and other various soft tissue injuries. Captain Ameri-glass hasn’t been consistently fit or healthy in the past couple years, at either Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, and that history is no longer easy to brush aside and ignore.
Get well soon, Christian!