USMNT's Christian Pulisic denied light penalty claim in muted Chelsea substitute appearance against Wolves
- Pulisic comes off bench
- Lampard's first sub
- Chelsea fall 1-0
WHAT HAPPENED? Wolves picked up a 1-0 win Saturday, spoiling Lampard's first game since returning to Chelsea this week as interim manager. Matheus Nunes' 31st-minute goal was the diffeerence, with the Blues putting just one of their 11 shots on target in the defeat.
HOW HE GOT ON: Pulisic entered the match in the 61st minute, replacing Kai Havertz as Lampard's first change. The American, though, never really got into the game, having few touches in dangerous positions at Chelsea failed to muster much of anything in attack.
In all, he made 21 touches, but it was the one he couldn't make that proved most important. Pulisic waved his arms in the arm when he fell down under minimal contact from a Wolves defender as he tried to reach a deflected Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot in the box. If he had been able to get to the ball, he likely would have poked it into the net, such was the advantageous nature of his position.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lampard's return is interesting for Pulisic, who was starting to play a more consistent role under the manager prior to his sacking in 2021. Lampard, now back until the end of the season, turned to Pulisic early in the second half, which could be a positive sign for the American heading down the stretch in the Premier League.
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WHAT NEXT FOR PULISIC? With the loss, Chelsea remain in 11th in the Premier League and facing an uphill battle to even get a European place. They do face a massive European tie on Wednesday, though, as they visit Spain for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid.