Chelsea FC News and Notes: Pedro, Pulisic, Azpilicueta



Chelsea lost the FA Cup Final, 2-1, to arch-rival Arsenal tonight, but their losses on Saturday go beyond just this match. They saw a trifecta of players go down with injury, and it’s near certain that the entire troika won’t be available next weekend against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Defender Cesar Azpilicueta, along with wingers Christian Pulisic and Pedro, all left early with injuries. It’s especially tough for the last name on that list, as this was his final game in a Chelsea shirt. Pedro, who left the match on a stretcher, is set to join AS Roma.

It appears he suffered a dislocated shoulder, so he will be sidelined for some time. Pulisic and Azpilicueta have seemingly injured their hamstrings, so it looks like we won’t see them again until mid September, when the Premier League resumes.

“I don’t even know, I am afraid,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said.

“I know that they are hamstring injuries with Christian and Azpi they have to be scanned and assessed over the next few days and they clearly won’t be fit for next week. Pedro, I believe, could be a dislocated shoulder but don’t go too soon on that because I am not sure.”

Pulisic once again conveyed just how important he is to the Chelsea attack as he scored just five minutes in, becoming the first American to net a goal in the FA Cup final. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace and that was the end of the scoring.

Chelsea were down to just ten men after the 73′ when midfielder Mateo Kovaic got his second yellow card, and thus, sent off. It was inevitable that the Blues wouldn’t come back at that point.

Lampard lamented the course change in the game. A fast start for the fourth place finishers in the league gave way to the Gunners being the superior side.

“We got sloppy, slower in our game and it was hard to change the tempo after that,” Lampard said.

“In the second half we came out well. If Christian goes through and scores instead of shooting wide and pulling his hamstring. There were certain circumstances which conspired against us, for no bad reason. In terms of football, we didn’t play well enough.”

Chelsea next plays at Bayern Munich on Saturday, for the second leg of their UCL round of 16 tie. They enter the match down 0-3 on aggregate. In addition to the triad of injured players we covered here, Lampard will also not have Jorginho or Marcos Alonso available for selection as both are suspended for that match.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is 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,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.


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