In addition to winning the title for Liverpool, Chelsea strengthened our hopes of a top four finish with a crucial big win against Manchester City last night, re-opening the five-point gap to Manchester United in fifth and closing the gap to third place Leicester City to just one point with seven matches still to go.
Chelsea's tactics and performance was thoroughly commendable and several impressive individual contributions ensured the Blues bagged all three points. Man of the Match Christian Pulisic, who opened the scoring with his second goal in just as many games, was delighted to get the win, in what was technically our home re-opener of the Premier League’s Restart.
"The most important thing was that we got the three points that we desperately needed today. We looked at this game against a big opponent and we wanted to win it. We were at home, obviously in slightly different circumstances, but we’re happy that we came out and got a really good result."
Pulisic's goal was brilliant on many levels, from his anticipation and burst of speed to intercept the loose ball, to his pace to ghost past Ilkay Gundogan is he were a non-entity, to his trickery to slow and bait Benjamin Mendy into a tackle before lifting the ball past him and shifting to another gear, to his precise finish beyond the onrushing Ederson in the Manchester City goal.
What a goal from Pulisic— Karim (@Futball_Karim) June 25, 2020
Absolutely destroyed Mendypic.twitter.com/avsKU4sY9P
Pulisic could have had a second opportunistic goal like that, but after rounding the goalkeeper, his shot was cleared off the line by a sliding Kyle Walker in what was a rather incredible goalline clearance.
Fortunately, Chelsea were not made to pay for that missed opportunity — unlike in several instances this season already — with Willian netting a winner from the spot after a Fernandinho decided to play handball on a Tammy Abraham shot.
"We have to capitalise on opportunities like [the first goal]. I had another one in the second half as well [which was cleared off the line by Kyle Walker] but I’m just happy to help the team out by scoring. We needed it and we’re just happy to get the three points.
"We went into the game with a really confident mindset to go out and win. Obviously we want to finish the season strongly but we feel we’re capable of a lot more as well."
The 21-year-old now has 14 direct goal contributions (8+6) in just 19 starts and 6 substitute appearances (7+2 in 13+5 Premier League appearances) in his debut season in England, which has seen him battle an annoying adductor injury as well that had him sidelined since the start of the new year. There’s much more to come from him, and he believes there’s much more to come from the team as well — this season and beyond.
"The break was tough on a lot of people but I’m just really happy that we can come back and play football again. It’s a bit different without the fans but we’re really excited to be back out there.
"There are a lot of games to play. We want to go as far as we can in the FA Cup and we want to continue finishing strong so we can be secure in a Champions League spot. We have a lot to play for."
-Christian Pulisic; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.
Or as Christian put it after his goal yesterday, “Let’s [FUNNING] Go!”.
Thank you Man City for capturing the audio perfectly. pic.twitter.com/57RoW4p2Jx— CFC Trilliam (@William_McC894) June 25, 2020
P.S.: Here are Pulisic's highlights from the game. Enjoy!
June 25, 2020