By Chris King •
Updated: 03 Aug 2023 • 23:36
Image of Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium.
Credit: Vespa125125CFC (talk)/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that striker Christopher Nkunku sustained a knee injury during Chelsea’s final pre-season friendly match against Borussia Dortmund.
The game against the Bundesliga giants ended in a 1-1 draw with the 25-year-old French striker leaving Soldier Field in Chicago early in the first half.
He went down clutching his knee after just nine minutes of play but managed to stay on the pitch until around the 20th minute. Ukrainian international Mykhailo Mudryk replaced Nkunku after he limped off the pitch.
Nkunku, who joined the Blues from RB Leipzig for a reported fee of around £52m (approx €60.3m) in this summer transfer window has made an impressive start with three goals during the club’s tour of the USA.
Pochettino refused to attribute the setback to the playing surface, which is typically used for NFL matches and staged an Ed Sheeran concert last weekend.
“The doctors are checking him and I hope it is not a big issue. He fell in the action which was maybe a penalty and he feels something in his knee, but we hope it is nothing big’, he assured. ‘We hope he can be back quickly with the team. We need a few days to assess him’, according to rte.ie.
Reece James was entrusted with captaining Chelsea while Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill formed the remainder of Chelsea’s back four. Colwill recently put pen to paper on a six-year contract with the England Under-21 star playing a pivotal role in this match.
Another of Chelsea’s new arrivals, Nicolas Jackson, saw his attempt denied by Dortmund keeper Alexander Meyer. Colvill then failed to convert a shot after the ball found him from a corner kick. Raheem Sterling was also guilty of a missed opportunity when he sent his effort wide of the post.
Pochettino started the second half with the same lineup. Against the run of play, Dortmund took advantage of their first real chance with Marius Wolf turning home a close-range strike amidst appeals for offside.
Kepa Arrizabalaga pushed away a strike from Wolf in the dying minutes of the match. The day was salvaged when 19-year-old Mason Burstow flicked the ball home with a fine header in the 89th minute for the Blues to finish their tour unbeaten.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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