Christian Pulisic may not have been credited with an assist in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, but the U.S. Men’s National Team star did have a major impact in the match.
After coming on as a second-half substitute, Pulisic helped in the build-up play on the Blues’ game-winning goal at Stamford Bridge. Pulisic linked up with Callum Hudson-Odoi before the fellow youngster assisted on Marcos Alonso’s 73rd-minute goal. It was a positive cameo for Pulisic who received praise postmatch from manager Frank Lampard.
“I am pleased for Christian as he is a hot topic because of the price tag and his status with his national team,” Lampard said, “but everyone has got carried away with the short term, and the long term is he has come here and has just turned 21 and it is good to see him play like he did today and there is more to come.”
“He should feel good about today because he was a big part of us winning.”
Pulisic returned to Chelsea following a disappointing spell with the USMNT in Concacaf Nations League play. Despite scoring in a 7-0 thrashing of Cuba, the 21-year-old failed to have an impact in a 60-minute appearance against Canada, a game which the USMNT lost 2-0.
Being able to have an impact at club level should continue to give Pulisic confidence going forward as Chelsea now turns towards a trip to Ajax in the UEFA Champions League group stage. It is undecided if Pulisic will get the start under Lampard in Amsterdam against the in-form hosts, but he remains happy after his performance on Saturday.
“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,” Pulisic told ESPN after the match.
“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.”
Pulisic has three assists in seven appearances domestically with Chelsea, but is still seeking his first goal in competitive action for the club.