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Pulisic scores, assists in wild showdown with Liverpool

Christian Pulisic continued to be one of the in-form players in the final stage of the English Premier League season.

Pulisic came off the bench and made a major impact against Liverpool and his former manager Jurgen Klopp. The 21-year-old scored his ninth league goal of the season while also registering his fourth assist in a 5-3 loss at Anfield.

With his team down 4-1 to the league champions through 50+ minutes, Pulisic made his mark two minutes after coming on for Willian. The U.S. Men’s National Team playmaker danced his way between Joe Gomez and Georginio Wijnaldum before sending a pass across the box to Tammy Abraham for the goal.

Pulisic took advantage of another defensive slip-up in the 73rd minute before showing great control and skill in the box. Callum Hudson-Odoi crossed into the box before Pulisic faked to his left, switched possession to his right and roofed a shot into the top-right corner.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 84th minute finish sealed for win for Liverpool ahead of their trophy presentation at Anfield. As for Pulisic though, it was another top performance for the midfielder since the restart of league play.

“We were very close today, we needed this result, but luckily it’s still in our hands,” Pulisic said post match. “I think substitutes are going to try and make a difference and we tried that and had some success. They [Liverpool] were on the back foot, but unfortunately that last counter attack goal from them ended it for us.”

Chelsea sit fourth in the EPL table heading into Championship Sunday this weekend, a point higher than fifth place Leicester City. The Blues close out league play against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.

Comments

  1. I read Lampard had said Pulisic had picked up an injury in their last league game. Lampard wasn’t sure how long Pulisic would go against Liverpool. I was wondering myself because I couldn’t believe Mount got the start ahead of Pulisic. They’re different players. Mount is a good player. But IMO Pulisic is a better technical and overall player then Mount.

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  2. Glad I’m not the only one, who watched today’s match – reds vs blues. CP was instant magic as soon as his cleats touched the pitch. We’ve been patiently waiting for CPs form to show in London. We all know he’s a starter! Lampard hasn’t figured it out. Today’s match as well as other matches confirms that CP is a LW, PERIOD! Mount is a 10! Berhalter playing him on the RW, or as 10/attacking CM isn’t maximizing his skill set. Reyna/Ledezma/Pomykal are the youth, who need to be in that 10 spot. Lleget/Green/Hyndman are the vets, and placeholders of the attacking central midfielders. I would like to see CP at LW, for USMNT, until he’s to old to scare opposing defenses. How many goals would’ve been scored had he started? He played lights out!!

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    • CP22 was recovering from a small injury, so that’s why he didn’t start against man u and I’m sure that’s why he didn’t start today either. Since the restart I’m pretty sure he’s one of the first names penciled in if 100% healthy

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    • Pulisic has been far more effective as a 10 for the NT look up the numbers it’s not even very close. CONCACAF teams have been able to isolate him when he’s on the wing and deny him the ball or double him with a FB and midfielder because Jozy and Morris aren’t Willian and Giroud mostly. CP as a 10 was able to show up anywhere and find space in the channels. If you watch closely for Chelsea they get width from the FB so he is actually in almost the same space as he was as a 10 during the GC.
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      As others develop that problem of being denied goes away. Reyna already makes that difficult, Morris’s improvement does as well, if Weah gets back and continues to improve it will be impossible to cover all three (in Concacaf). Pax is not a 10, I’m one of his biggest fans but at this time he’s an 8. Aaronson or Ledezma could play the 10 role against 80% of Concacaf today. Not sure they’d be effective yet against Hon. CR, Mex and any top 20 NT but they could someday soon. Richie is a guy I really want to see get first team minutes this year.

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    • When Klinsmann brought Pulisic into the squad for the WC qualifying match vs. Mexico, I remember that he said that he built the game plan around Pulisic. He also pretty much gave Pulisic carte blanche to roam wherever he wanted. The idea was to get him as many touches as possible. I thought at the time that was a bit presumptive for a young kid who wasn’t even a starter on his, admittedly good, club team. Well, now Pulisic is definitely that good. He has the speed, intelligence, skill, and guile to play in the middle and be a dangerous scorer. He should be a striker in the middle, or maybe a #10. He should be given freedom to go where he wants, to find spaces and if that means on the wing temporarily, let him do it. He’s our Ronaldo. I certainly wouldn’t tie him down to one position or spot on the field.

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      • Weah has a way to go but he can play either wide or central, Reyna the same, Ledezma has further to progress but he can do both. Put a combination of three of those four and it would drive defenses insane.

    • CP is best as a LW but he will be less effective there because the US doesn’t currently have other good players making effective runs and positioning themselves to punish teams that over commit to defending him out there. Also CONCACAF refs simply won’t protect him from brutality they can engage when he is receiving the ball near the sideline 30+ yards from goal. If he is played centrally and closer to the box, those fouls are more of a liability and it’s easier for him to be direct and create his own scoring opportunities. Hopefully a few other midfielders/forwards develop to solve this problem.

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      • Bingo Clover, great post. In whatever way he’s deployed for USMNT, in CONCACAF they’ll look to brutalize him and refs will allow it so it has to be taken into account. And most importantly, others need to capitalize and punish opposing Ds for hyper focus on CP. If USMNT rely on CP to dribble and create them to everything it’ll work until it breaks him

      • I think that if we have Pulisic at LW and Reyna at RW we’ll have 2 players who’ll be able to punish the opposition if they attempt to double team one of them. Would still be good to have someone really step up at the Striker position (Sargent, Jozy & Morris) and at the CAM position (Ledezma, Aaronson, Ferreria)….someone who can help circulate the ball and occupy the CBs. Weah & Uli should be ready to back-up Pulisic & Rayna at the wide forward/midfield rolls when international competitions resume.
        Yes I know that Weah & Ferreria could both be played as false 9’s…but not sure if they can handle the physical beatings that CONCACAF center backs get away with.

  3. Wow, the kid is on fire. Could he already be the best US player ever? Certainly up for discussion. Not too many players can score a goal and have an assist in less than a half against one of the best teams on the planet.

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    • Not even sure it’s a much of a discussion. Obviously he’s got a ways to go to have the best career but to do what he’s done for a top 5 EPL club and played well in 4 CL appearances.

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    • No doubt he is more skilled, playing better / at a higher level than any U.S. player ever has. He simply needs a longer body of work to be called the best ever.

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  4. My question to Lampard was why Pulisic sat on the bench for the game’s first 59 minutes. Frank Lampard’s failure to address Chelsea’s glaring defensive flaws will be his own undoing. The Chelsea legend player, but IMO still a novice as a Premier League manager, just kept buying attacking players. Lampard is setting himself up for a mid-season fire next season when Chelsea will be tying 4-4 and losing 3-5 every game against quality teams and fail to close out games due to a Swiss cheese defense. Frank Lampard is well on course for achieving getting fired next season.

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    • it is very odd that all his moves so far have been for offensive players. Not saying they don’t need some reinforcement but, as a whole, the defense has been less reliable than their offense. There’s been some mention of trying to bring in Chilwell to play at LB, but it seems they need an overall (besides James and Zouma).

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    • I’m pretty sure that deep down Lampard doesn’t rate him. Lampard has been forced to play him because of CP’s form is undeniable, but ultimately he wants wingers that are better at winning the ball. This is an Insane opinion to have as CP is showing you he is a potentia PL player of the year level player, but I don;t think Lampard is actually a very good manager. CP’s play speaks for itself and Lampard is more likely to get fired than successfully pushing CP out at this point. Even if Lampard does eventually force him out, CP will land at a massive club with a manager that wants him. Marhez is 29, Salah is 28, Firmino is 28,Mane is 28, etc. All of these players could need replacing in the next 1-3 years and a competent manager can see what CP can give you.

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    • That was a classic expression of “Holy cow! I’m glad the genius Lampard kept Pulisic on the bench for the first 59 minutes. What are we gonna do if Pulisic played the entire game?”

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  5. So tired of his trying to find extra time for Mason Mount. Just rotate the guy into central midfield and keep him out of the wide attackers’ purview. Pulisic would have kept the Liverpool attack honest today in the first half. Slow flank play allowed Liverpool backs to take advantage.

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  6. Dont worry, Mount will get much praise for his brilliant square passing. Such a great work ethic. CP has such potential but needs to work harder to get to that next level. Lets hear the same old, Lampard. Kid almost put the game on its head within first 10 mins on field.

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    • My thoughts exactly. I suggested the other day that Lampard prefers Mount to him. I was derided and told they play different roles. In the Big Game Mount (Lampard’s Derby transfer with him) starts and Pulisic sits. When CP was in, CFC won that period 2-1. While he sat, they lost 4-2. To me that sort of turn on its head says you had the wrong lineup. As a CFC fan, I am annoyed Lampard has taken a 3rd place team and turned them into a 4th place team still at risk of not making the Champions League. But you say this to the club snobs with no particular stake in any given side and it’s how dare you criticize a coach in the European slots. Because he’s made a good team worse, that’s why.

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      • Frank said “I felt it was risky to play him for 90 minutes given we have two huge games coming up. … So as I say disappointed I haven’t been able to start him in the last two games but we’ve got them coming up.” It sounds like injuries were still a concern so he made the decision they’re more likely to beat Wolves with Pulisic than Liverpool with him and that the FA Cup final is more important than today’s game.
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        Frank’s got some learning to do for sure but to criticize him for dropping one spot in the table after losing Hazard, Morata, Higuain, Luiz, Pedro aging out, and Loftus Cheek being out for almost the entire season and the only signing you’re allowed to make is Pulisic who was injured for a fourth of the season that’s not a bad job. He had to use academy products Mount, James, and Abraham managers in the past would have filled with international stars.

      • Frank always has an excuse. The table drop year on year speaks for itself. I feel like he is learning on the job. To be fair, we periodically do this (Gullit, Vialli). We usually have a short fuse and I don’t expect him to drag on forever losing table position and relevance spending Roman’s money. CP has more production than Mount in fewer games QED.

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