Christian Pulisic’s speed and technical ability are generally enough to get him involved in plenty of attacking sequences but, on Sunday, he provided a stunning goal thanks to some assistance from Lady Luck.
Pulisic provided the opening goal of Sunday’s clash with Stuttgart via a perfectly-hit shot/cross that worked its way off the post and into the back of the net. The goal kickstarted the Dortmund attack, as Pulisic and co. cruised to a 3-0 victory that keeps the club within one point of second place Schalke.
“The goal opened the game for us,” Pulisic said, according to ESPN. “There was a little bit of luck. I just tried to hit it towards the back post. As I saw it hit the post and go in, I couldn’t really believe it. I couldn’t really celebrate — I didn’t know what to do.
“Stuttgart didn’t make it easy for us,” he added. “No team will come here and just let us play. In the beginning, they played man against man all around the field. It was tough to get freedom, but once we wore them out it became more free-flowing and easier for us.”
The goal was a vital one for Dortmund, especially following last week’s 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich. The midfielder added that the goal was one that “definitely gave us a lot more confidence”, and his teammates agreed with the assessment.
“It was very important to open the scoring while we were on top,” said midfielder Nuri Sahin. “Even if, as I believe, Christian didn’t connect with it properly – we’ll happily take it. It was better after that, even if it wasn’t a standout match.
“Following the 6-0 in Munich, in which both the defeat and the margin were deserved, you’re naturally a bit heavy-legged and thoughts go through your head. In order to restore mental freshness, you perhaps sometimes need to get a goal like that to get up and running again.”
Pulisic and Dortmund now need to get right back into it heading into next week’s match. On Sunday, Dortmund is set to face off with second-place Schalke in a match that could certainly be the deciding factor on where the two clubs finish at season’s end.
“Now that we’re out of the other competitions, it gives us a chance to train hard and really gives us a chance to prepare for the weekend and we were able to do that this week,” Pulisic said.
“We definitely needed a result after last weekend [the Bayern defeat] and we came out with a dominant performance and now we are feeling really good. I don’t remember a game where we dominated like this in recent weeks. It was really important for us and our self-confidence.”