herald

Monday 16 September 2019

'It's penalties, man - somebody has to miss'

Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham

Christian Pulisic said the Chelsea players would get behind Abraham after his shoot-out miss.

Frank Lampard's reign as Blues boss got off to the worst possible start on Sunday as a second-half capitulation resulted in an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Manchester United.

Chelsea had precious little time to dust themselves down before Wednesday's Super Cup clash in Istanbul, where they drew 2-2 with Jurgen Klopp's Champions League winners after extra-time and went to penalties.

Back-up goalkeeper Adrian denied substitute Tammy Abraham to seal the Reds' 5-4 triumph in Turkey, but Pulisic struck an optimistic tone after the defeat and was confident the miss would have no long-term impact on the England Under-21 forward.

"It's penalties, man - somebody has to miss," Pulisic said.

"He's going to get his head up. Obviously it's tough but penalties are like that. He can deal with it and he'll be fine.

"He'll move on, he'll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We're there for him."

Pulisic felt it was the second game in a row where Chelsea's performance had not been rewarded with the right result.

"It was harsh on us," the United States international said. "A few things just didn't go our way, a few decisions, and in the end to lose on penalties, that's just how it goes.

Proud

"But we can be really proud of how we played. I don't feel that we had a fair result at Old Trafford either. We've been creating enough chances to win these games and we just have to keep going and keep fighting."

Pulisic had a goal ruled out for offside after setting up Olivier Giroud's opener, only for Sadio Mane to level shortly after half-time.

The Senegal international put Liverpool ahead early in extra-time, only for Jorginho to make it 2-2 after Adrian was adjudged to have brought down Abraham in the box.

The striker wasted a great chance to win the Super Cup before the match went to a shoot-out, where Adrian denied the 21-year-old's decisive spot-kick.

There does appear to be a real togetherness being fostered by Lampard, whose belief in youth and understanding of the club's values makes Pulisic confident that a first win is close. "It's been great working with him," the ex-Borussia Dortmund star said. "We've learned a lot so far and I think you can see the team forming.

"We have a lot of great players which makes it easier. We're on a good path."

Twitter remain "deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation" on the social media platform following criticism from Kick It Out after Abraham was the victim of online racial abuse.

The 21-year-old was the subject of abusive posts on Twitter after his penalty miss in Istanbul.

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