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Pulisic makes first Premier League start under Tuchel in Chelsea draw


Christian Pulisic finally earned his first English Premier League start under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, but the American winger wasn’t able to help keep the Blues from dropping points.

Chelsea played Leeds United to a 0-0 draw on Saturday, with Pulisic starting and playing 68 minutes before being replaced by Reece James.

The U.S. Men’s National Team star completed 21 of 24 passes, and produced three shots, but couldn’t help Chelsea find a winner, though the result at Leeds helped keep Tuchel’s unbeaten record with the Blues intact.

It has been a frustrating stretch for Pulisic since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager, having made just one start since his former Borussia Dortmund manager took charge.

Tuchel addressed Pulisic’s situation on Friday, making it clear that Pulisic is very much in his plans, even if he hadn’t been earning regular starters in recent weeks.

“All of my players are competitors. All of them want to play every single minute,” Tuchel said. “This is what they show every day, the hunger and desire. This is what Christian shows. We have so many games, and he is in my plans, and he is an important player. He has the potential to be decisive for us from the bench, and as a beginner.

“Is it necessary that he can prove it? Yes, so this is my job, and his job is to be ready,” Tuchel said. “To be ready like everybody else. And when it comes, the moment, you have to be ready. This is what you sign up for in a club like Chelsea. There’s no difference between Christian and anybody else.”

Chelsea returns to action on Wednesday in a decisive Champions League Round of 16 clash with Atletico Madrid (Chelsea won the first leg, 1-0), and the absence of Mason Mount due to yellow-card suspension increases Pulisic’s chances of earning another start. That said, given the physical demands of Saturday’s draw with Leeds, Pulisic could very well find himself as an option off the bench once more.


  1. Honestly- Pulisic easing his way back into minutes… frustrating as it is, may well be the best thing for him physically. He’s rushed back before projected recovery on multiple occasions which has resulted in a domino effect of injuries. Building a base of strength and endurance will serve him well. If he’s healthy- I have zero doubt that he will play and excel. Just too talented and dangerous a player to let sit. Full fitness, nick a goal and he’ll be off and running.

    Tuchel’s system definitely doesn’t compliment CP… or the general make up of the roster. He’s got a bunch of really talented players adapting to it- but they’re not in their ideal roles which shows. I suspect some of this is a feel out process- Tuchel righting/stabilizing the ship. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see players move to form a more balanced roster and perhaps a different approach next season.

  2. I watched the game until he went off then I turned it off. Pulisic mad several dangerous crosses that should have resulted in goals but didnt. He looked dangerous on the right. Still, his role has been reduced under the new coach and that has to bother him. To be yanked, after playing well, has to liss him off. It would me

  3. Of course, Tuchel, if he really wanted goals should start Giroud. I know Giroud is getting older and is now a step slower, but he continues to find ways to score goals. Just like at Arsenal, when he is used he scores. Apparently Tuchel wants something else!

  4. Progress. Positive 65 or so mins.
    Take it with understanding he hasnt played 90 in a while.
    I didnt mind his right side wingback role today.Even in that role, he was the most direct, dangerous player. Against bigger clubs, we know a defensive minded Reece James will start there.
    Havertz and Werner are still not fulfilling their attacking expectations. Ziyech, to his credit looked a creative CAM today. Mount looked tired.

    So, positive progress but the issue of being in the shadow of the germans remains. The liklihood of him overtaking a starting spot in the attacking third, in this chelsea system is slim. We heard Tuchel, joking he could score 2 goals and be captain next year. So we are judging attackers on goals are we? Same standards being applied to all players?

    • Agreed! Pulisic currently lacks a bit of self confidence due to not playing much. Given more minutes to show his worth, Pulisic will get his mojo back.

    • If he were to be graded on goals scored, he had one of the best records last season for young players in the EPL. He showed last years he’s capable and up to the task. However, Tuchel seems to put defense first and that could be why he’s not playing much yet.


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