Chelsea News and Notes: Pulisic, Azpilicueta, Lampard, Mendy


When it’s a goalless draw, like Manchester United and Chelsea played on Saturday, well then a goalkeeper is certainly the man of the match. An ugly, dull game, played in a steady rain, this was not aesthetically pleasing football, but it certainly provided a lot to talk about, from both perspectives.

Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy wasn’t perfect, and some of his passing left a lot to be desired, but he made a few good stops in the first half and his denying Marcus Rashford saved the game and salvaged a point for the visitors.

Starting in front of Mendy today were five defenders, including Cesar Azpilicueta, the team captain. He should have won a penalty kick when he got manhandled by United’s skipper Harry Maguire. Manhandled is one way to put it, others might call it “bear-hugged.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard had his descriptive language for the incident. “Yeah, holding is allowed, but headlocks don’t go on,” he told BBC Match of the Day.

“I don’t know why VAR didn’t take long and there’s also a monitor to look at. I think if the referee goes to the monitor he gives a penalty.” It was definitely an illegal move by Maguire, and Azpilicueta is lucky he wasn’t injured. Issues relating to injury and/or the rule of law are important off the pitch as well. That’s why Caldwell Wenzel Asthana are a personal injury law firm you want on your side. Much like you would want VAR with you on the pitch.

Azpilicueta agreed with Lampard, Maguire fought the law, and the United centreback won.

“I felt arms around my neck and shoulders. The referee can make the decision, the VAR is there [to help]. In any situation the referee takes the main decisions and the monitor is there for him to help. It was 50-50 so why not take 20 seconds to review it?” he said.

The draw means Chelsea now sit sixth in the table, not a position they expected nor wanted to be in after having such a massive summer shopping spree.

“Lets see [how the season goes],” added Lampard.

“[The unpredictable start is] certainly an affect of teams that went into Europe [at the end of last season]. The lads got hardly any time off and we added new players. I don’t like to make excuses, but it’s true.”

We’re also waiting for Christian Pulisic to really get it going in 20/21. He did make a noticeable impact last week, in his first start of the season, but today felt like a step back.

In the 74′ Pulisic got clobbered by United midfielder Scott McTominay, and began hobbling.

Noticeably hurt, he was able to play through it for awhile. However, in the 81st minute he was subbed off and replaced by Hakim Ziyech

He did have a shot on goal that went right to David de Gea, in the 33′ and then another shot right after that which got deflected by Victor Lindelof. NBC did a blow-by-blow of Pulisic’s gameday, which you can find at this link.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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