Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed why USA winger Christian Pulisic was absent for the trip to Sheffield United on Sunday night.
The German head coach left the 22-year-old out of his matchday squad entirely as the Blues travelled to take on the struggling Blades at Bramall Lane.
His absence wasn’t felt, however, with Chelsea running out fairly comfortable winners, courtesy of a fine goal from Mason Mount and a Jorginho penalty either side of a comical own goal by Antonio Rüdiger.
Timo Werner was particularly influential off Pulisic’s preferred left flank, providing a perfect pass for the first goal and winning the penalty for the crucial second.
Some fans had joked before kick off that NFL fan Pulisic had been left at home so he could rest up ahead of watching the Superbowl live on TV later that night.
However, Tuchel has revealed that the American was actually absent for personal reasons in an interview with the club’s official website.
“Christian has some family issues to solve, and family is always first, so we decided to give him a rest,” Tuchel said following his third straight victory as new Chelsea boss.
Centre-back Thiago Silva was also absent on Sunday night, having hobbled off in the first half of the Blues’ 1-0 win at Tottenham on Thursday with a thigh injury. The Brazilian veteran had stayed down having stretched to cut out a long ball in 36th minute and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.
Giving an update on the Brazilian veteran’s injury situation, Tuchel suggested he could be out for Chelsea’s next two games, adding: “Thiago we are fighting every day. He will be for sure out for the FA Cup. It will take several days, but we set the goal for Southampton, that’s maybe realistic but ambitious.
“We are doing everything and I know Thiago will do everything to be ready as soon as possible. With a muscle injury you cannot take any risks so when it’s healed it’s healed, you can’t accept the pain like other injuries.”
Meanwhile, Kai Havertz and Kurt Zouma are both back in full training having missed the wins at Tottenham and Sheffield United.