Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly’s boot ripped open in bizarre incident against Man City | Football | Sport
Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly needed a change of footwear midway through the first half against Manchester City after his boots were ripped open with a gaping hole on top. Graham Potter already had to use two of his substitutions early in the game with both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic forced off with worrying injuries.
And it looked like a third might have been needed when Koulibaly put his hand up to the bench in the 21st minute. The Chelsea defender had been caught on the ball by Erling Haaland before helping his side clear up any danger.
But he hobbled back into his box with an arm up in the air to try and grab the attention of the officials, only for play to continue. He looked distressed as Chelsea tried to hold off City’s threat before Kepa Arrizabalaga collected a cross.
Cameras then picked up pictures of Koulibaly walking towards the side of the pitch with a gaping hole on the top of his left boot. The good news for Chelsea fans was that it wasn’t another injury following Pulisic and Sterling’s knocks.
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It’s unclear when the damage occurred to Koulibaly’s boots, but just seconds before he raised his arm to the Chelsea bench he was involved in a tussle with Haaland. The City forward appeared to accidentally stand on Koulibaly’s foot as they were fighting for the ball in an innocuous incident.
Koulibaly did try to play on initially, going over to the referee to tie up his laces. But the defender was informed that he would need to change his footwear, going over to the side of the pitch for a new pair of Puma boots.
Incredibly, the same kind of thing happened to his Chelsea team-mate Marc Cucurella just last month with the same style of boots. The full-back was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle in Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth.
His boot was torn off his foot in the process and it was ripped apart at the tongue. Chelsea didn’t have an exact spare available to Cucurella at the time and he opted to play the rest of the match with one orange boot and one silver.
While Potter will be glad that Koulibaly didn’t end up joining Chelsea’s ever-growing injury list, there will be fears over the fitness of both Sterling and Pulisic. Mason Mount had been ruled out of the match earlier in the day having also picked up an injury.