USMNT star Christian Pulisic warms bench in Chelsea's win over Bournemouth as Frank Lampard snubs American again

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Christian Pulisic Chelsea 2022-23
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Christian Pulisic returned to the Chelsea squad for Saturday's matchup against Bournemouth, but could only manage a spot on the Blues' bench.
  • Pulisic left out of last squad entirely
  • Returned to bench vs Bournemouth
  • But didn't feature in 3-1 win

WHAT HAPPENED? The United States men's national team star was left out of Frank Lampard's squad completely in their woeful showing against Arsenal in midweek, in what was one of many questionable changes by the interim Blues boss. Saturday's Premier League fixture saw Chelsea come up against one of the league's most in-form sides in Bournemouth, where Pulisic was only afforded a place among the substitutes.

While Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling, Hakim Ziyech and Cesar Azpilicueta were brought on to help fire the London side to a 3-1 win, Pulisic was left to watch on from the dugout as he remained an unused substitute.

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Chelsea starting XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Chilwell; Kante, Enzo, Gallagher; Madueke, Havertz, Mudryk.

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Subs: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Hall, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Ziyech, Sterling, Joao Felix.

Bournemouth starting XI: Neto; Smith, Senesi, Kelly, Vina; Rothwell, Lerma; Ouattara, Billing, Christie; Solanke.

Subs: Travers, Zabarnyi, Stephens, Mepham, Cook, Brooks, Anthony, Semenyo.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lampard's return to the helm had promised somewhat of a renaissance for Pulisic's stuttering career in west London, given the faith he showed in the American during his first spell at the club. But Saturday's snub marks what has been a frustrating, injury-hit season for the USMNT star, as he has now amassed just 85 minutes of football since coming back from a knee problem in mid-March.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The frustration will be even greater given Chelsea's weakness up front. January signing Noni Madueke retained his place after scoring a consolation during Tuesday's trip to Arsenal and looked bright against the Cherries, while fellow winter acquisition Mykhailo Mudryk took Sterling's place instead of Pulisic, but the Ukrainian was hopeless before he came off. Given Mudryk and Kai Havertz both disappointed, Lampard may well turn to the American in one of their upcoming games - despite him recording just one goal and two assists all season.


Christian Pulisic frustration Chelsea Wolves 2022-23


WHAT NEXT FOR PULISIC? Failing to be selected for the third league match in a row will add more fuel to the fire linking him away from the club. Pulisic will hope to have an opportunity to show potential employers his credentials in Chelsea's next match at home to Nottingham Forest on May 13.