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

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Chelsea boss Graham Potter has defended his decision to take off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the second-half against Manchester City after bringing on the forward to replace Raheem Sterling in the first-half.

Aubameyang replaced the injured Sterling in the 5th minute of the game and was then taken off in the 68th minute.

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 minutes.

Potter 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.”