REVEALED: Andreas Christensen shocked Chelsea team-mates by PULLING OUT of the FA Cup final, hours before he was due to start, despite not being injured – and with a move to Barcelona imminent
- Chelsea were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Saturday
- Andreas Christensen did not feature for the Blues in their defeat at Wembley
- The Dane asked to be left out of Thomas Tuchel’s side on the morning of the final
- Ahead of his move to Barcelona, Christensen said he did not feel ready to play
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen pulled himself out of contention for Saturday’s agonising FA Cup final defeat against Liverpool just hours before kick-off.
The Denmark international – who will join Barcelona at the end of the season – was not injured but told head coach Thomas Tuchel on the morning of the game he did not want to be considered for the Wembley showdown because he did not feel ready to play.
It is likely that Christensen would have started the game ahead of Trevoh Chalobah if he was available for selection and his decision to withdraw from the squad to face Jurgen Klopp’s side arrived as a major blow to Chelsea’s plans.
His unexpected withdrawal and departure from the team hotel on Saturday morning is understood to have left his team-mates perplexed and shocked.
Sources close to Christensen have indicated that the defender felt unwell in the days prior to the final, something that the Blues star relayed to his head coach before deciding on the morning of the game that he wasn’t physically ready to play.
Christensen, who is reported to earn £78,000-per-week at Chelsea, played the entire 90 minutes of last Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Leeds.
Andreas Christensen asked Thomas Tuchel to leave him out of Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat
Last month, Christensen pulled himself out of the starting XI in the moments leading up to the 1-0 win over West Ham after suffering stomach cramps ahead of kick-off.
In the 4-2 loss to Arsenal, also last month, the centre-back asked to be taken off at half-time – Tuchel confirming Christensen had made the request after the game.
Similarly, former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said of the Dane in 2019: ‘You know very well that Christensen on matchdays always has stomach ache.
‘I don’t know the reason but he is always very nervous. I don’t know what to say.’
Christensen has agreed a five-year deal to join Barcelona on a free transfer ahead of next season after rejecting Chelsea’s attempts to renegotiate an extension.
Christensen is set to leave the Blues on a free transfer and join Barcelona in the summer
Tuchel was forced to include Trevoh Chalobah in his starting line-up at Wembley on Saturday
Christensen’s late request to be left out came as a huge blow for the Chelsea head coach
And following the loss to Liverpool, Tuchel admitted for the first time that Christensen is leaving at the end of the season.
‘We are losing Toni [Rudiger], we’re losing Andreas,’ confirmed Tuchel.
Christensen’s best moment for Chelsea was his surprise appearance in last year’s Champions League final, when he came on as a substitute for the injured Thiago Silva 39 minutes into a 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto.
In contrast to Christensen this weekend, Silva finished the entire 120 minutes against Liverpool on Saturday despite requiring lengthy treatment inside the opening 15 minutes.
After the game the Brazilian defender was seen limping away from Wembley and could be a doubt for Chelsea’s remaining Premier League matches.
Timo Werner was named on the bench on Saturday but couldn’t come on after sustaining a hamstring injury during the warm-up, while Kai Havertz missed the game entirely due to his own hamstring problem.
Tuchel confirmed for the first time after Saturday’s defeat that Christensen is leaving the club