Pulisic: I scored crucial UCL goal by ignoring Tuchel

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Christian Pulisic and Thomas Tuchel
Christian Pulisic and Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has shed light on his strained relationship with Thomas Tuchel, revealing that he scored a crucial UEFA Champions League goal by ignoring the manager's tactics.  

The German head coach was sacked earlier in September after a number of disagreements with new co-owner Todd Boehly, while some of the players reportedly had their own issues with their former manager.  

It has been claimed Tuchel's relationship with the squad was at an all-time low before he left Stamford Bridge, with reports suggesting he went more than a year without initiating a single conversation with one first-team player, while it is also said he offered no guidance explaining how another player could work his way back into his team when they fell out of the starting XI. 

Read: Tuchel's next job lined up?

One of the highlights of Tuchel's tenure with the Blues is his 2020/21 UCL success, and Pulisic played an important role in the triumph as he put Chelsea in the lead in the first leg of their semi-final with Real Madrid before Karim Benzema levelled things up at the Santiago Bernabeu.  

The USA star has since claimed – via his new autobiography, which is set to be launched in October – that the goal he scored came as a result of him ignoring his former manager's instruction. 

"As I take off on the run, I hear Thomas Tuchel yelling from the sideline, 'Christian, stay in the pocket, don't make the run!'" the 24-year-old wrote in his book Christian Pulisic: My Journey So Far, according to ESPN.

"But I just had the feeling I'd find the space and get on the end of the pass, so I continued the run." 

Pulisic also opened up on how Tuchel's decision to snub him in the second tie against Los Blancos left him "dumbfounded". 

"What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me," the winger wrote.

"l'd had a really good first-leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and, as a result, I didn't play a single minute in the Fulham game. 

"Then on matchday of the second semi, Tuchel tells me he's changed his mind and he's going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed. I thought that I'd earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously I was going to start." 

Read: Ten Hag 'makes fresh demand' to Glazers

Pulisic did end up making an appearance off the bench in the second leg, providing an assist for Chelsea's second goal in their 2-0 win. 

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