Christian Pulisic played for more than 10 minutes in a Premier League game for the first time since August, and came within a miracle block of picking up his fifth assist of the season.
He had already collected a secondary assist (not a tracked statistic, but should be) on Marcos Alonso’s opening strike, driving the box, laying it across to Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made the extra pass to the advancing left back to strike cleanly, but it looked like for all the world that he would be directly involved in Chelsea’s second goal of the day — either by scoring himself, or, as he chose, by giving Tammy Abraham the tap-in. But Pulisic’s international teammate DeAndre Yedlin made a spectacular sliding block to deny the goal that would’ve salted the game away, and put Abraham clear into the lead for the Golden Boot.
Still, Pulisic’s impact was undeniable after replacing Mason Mount just past the hour mark, delighting both his manager and the 21-year-old himself.
“It was a really good game, happy for the team, had a strong performance, they defended really well, and I was happy to make an impact.”
“I was going to shoot last-second, but I saw Tammy wide open and then DeAndre made an unbelievable block, so maybe I should have shot it. I just don’t have that scoring touch but I know it will come back.”
Much has been made of Pulisic supposed “plight” in the Premier League, not to mention his struggles for the hilariously inept US Men’s National Team, but yesterday’s game showed that he’s got plenty of ability to make the required impact for Chelsea, and that he just might not be grossly mismanaged as many have shouted into the ether in the past few weeks.
Pulisic, who had been perhaps a bit too open with the quote-hungry media, knows what’s required of him, and happy to take his opportunities as they come.
“[Lampard] told me to do exactly what I’m doing now, continue to train hard, when i get my opportunity I have to take it.”
-Christian Pulisic; source: ESPN
Sure is nice to have quality options on the bench and throughout the squad. Let’s hope we can keep everyone happy, fit, and firing.