Graham Potter explains why he hauled off substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Man City

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang endured a difficult night against Manchester City
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang endured a difficult night against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

    Graham Potter defended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he endured another difficult night during Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City.

    The former Arsenal captain started the game on the substitutes’ bench but was introduced after just five minutes following an injury to Raheem Sterling.

    Aubameyang toiled for the best part of an hour before he sufered the ignominy of being hauled off and replaced by 18-year-old Omari Hutchinson who was making his first senior appearance following his summer move from Arsenal.

    The 33-year-old looked disconsolate as he trudged towards the dugout and took his place back on the bench as he contemplated his fate.

    Potter, however, insisted he was happy with Aubameyang’s performance and explained the change he made was based on the striker’s recent lack of minutees.

    He said: ‘He came on after one minute, hadn’t played for a while, and put in an absolute shift for us given Manchester City make you run a lot.

    ‘I thought he did everything he could for the team. He was fatiguing a little bit, same as Hakim [Ziyech], so that was the decision.

    ‘We needed a little bit of energy so I thought we could use Omari [Hutchinson], Conor [Gallagher], and Lewis [Hall]. Of course, players want to stay on the pitch and influence the game. It’s a normal reaction.’

    Asked if he had spoken to Aubameyang, who clearly looked aggrieved, Potter added: ‘No, I’ve not got time to speak in any depth in that point.

    ‘You understand that footballers want to play and help the team. It’s a decision we have to make.

    ‘He hasn’t played for a while and playing against Manchester City as a forward, sometimes you have to do a bit of work off the ball.

    ‘He gave everything for the team and was fatiguing a little bit. So that was the decision.’

    MORE : Graham Potter provides update on Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling injuries as Chelsea duo hobble off

    MORE : Graham Potter picks out strengths of new Chelsea signing Benoit Badiashile

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