Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left furious with Graham Potter’s decision to replace him having come on as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
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With Raheem Sterling suffering a possible hamstring injury in the opening five minutes of Thursday’s game at Stamford Bridge, Aubameyang was called upon to replace the England winger.
The former Arsenal skipper was unable to impose himself on the match, however, and suffered the ignominy of being replaced himself after 68 minutes by Omari Hutchinson with Chelsea looking for an equaliser.
The 33-year-old attacker was seen shaking his head as he was replaced and barely acknowledged Potter as he left the pitch.
Aubameyang, who left Barcelona to reunite with Thomas Tuchel in London, was left ‘very angry’ by the decision, according to Sport.
Potter downplayed the incident in his post-match press conference, saying he was happy with the striker’s display and explaining the change was down to the player’s lack of minutes recently.
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 looked aggrieved, Potter said: ‘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.’