Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Christian Pulisic’s height was a factor in why he was benched against Real Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Pulisic scored in the first leg which ended 1-1 but Kai Havertz was picked ahead of him for the second clash after he performed well against Fulham on Saturday.
Havertz scored both of Chelsea’s goals in their 2-0 Premier League win over the Cottagers to earn a starting spot in the semi-final.
Tuchel told BT Sport: “Christian got a bad message today unfortunately, but I am pretty sure we need more than 11 players to sneak through today and it is good to have Christian from the bench
“Kai gives us a little bit of height against the set-pieces and maybe in fast attacks can keep the ball.”
Pulisic’s omission stunned Joe Cole who was a pundit for the match on Wednesday.
He said on BT Sport: “It surprised me. Havertz has played himself into it. I think it’s the one where Tuchel would have been sitting there, with Werner, I think he runs off the ball better than anyone in this squad.
“Pulisic dribbles and drives with the ball, but Werner is the one. If I’m Pulisic now, I’m raging because it’s a big game and you feel like you’re playing well.
“But Havertz is one of them, I think he’s put him centrally to come off into the pockets and to allow the space for Werner to run in behind.”
Chelsea ‘s second leg victory saw them run out 3-1 winners on aggregate in the tie and send them to the Champions League final.
The Blues will face Manchester City, who defeated Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 on aggregate in the other semi.