USMNT star Christian Pulisic barely touches the ball for Chelsea against Aston Villa after overcoming illness to play off bench

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Christian Pulisic Chelsea Dortmund 2022-23
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Christian Pulisic overcame illness just in time to play a quiet 10 minutes in Chelsea's 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.
  • Pulisic named to bench
  • USMNT star was battling illness
  • Touched ball 10 times in defeat

WHAT HAPPENED? Pulisic was one of several USMNT stars hit by illness after international duty, with Weston McKennie notably playing with the flu against El Salvador. Gio Reyna, meanwhile, was ruled out of Saturday's clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern due to sickness.

Pulisic had been questionable heading into Saturday, with Graham Potter saying that his status was up in the air, but the American recovered enough to make the Blues bench at Stamford Bridge. He came on in the 80th minute with Chelsea down 2-0, replacing Marc Cucurella, but the Blues were unable to turn the game around as they fell at Stamford Bridge and Pulisic registered just 10 touches to little effect.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pulisic still finds himself part of a crowded Chelsea attack, with Graham Potter having plenty of options at his disposal. On Saturday, Potter went with Kai Havertz, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk to lead the way from the start against Aston Villa.


Graham Potter Chelsea 2022-23

Christian Pulisic Chelsea Villa 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? Potter could be forced to rotate, though, as Chelsea face a short turnaround before hosting Liverpool on Tuesday.