Christian Pulisic has gone from struggling to get into the Chelsea lineup to regaining the excellent form he enjoyed last season in what feels like a blink, and his latest outing only served to confirm the fact that the American star is on a roll again.
Pulisic earned Man of the Match honors in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg against FC Porto. The Blues lost the match, 1-0, but the result helped Chelsea advance to the semifinals after a 2-0 first-leg victory.
Pulisic was instrumental in Tuesday’s match, providing a constant threat and generating dangerous moments that led FC Porto to foul him a whopping 11 times. That number was the most fouls suffered by a player in a Champions League match since Lionel Messi was fouled 11 times by Real Madrid in 2011.
Pulisic finished with a game-high three shots, four successful dribbles and two key passes, earning him UEFA’s Man of the Match Award, which came just three days after he was named Man of the Match following his two-goal performance in a 4-2 win against Crystal Palace.
Pulisic played 90 minutes for the second straight match, enduring the steady stream of abuse from FC Porto defenders to finish out the match and secure Chelsea’s place in the Champions League semifinals against the winner of the Real Madrid-Liverpool quarterfinal.
Whether the wear and tear suffered against Manchester City keeps him out of this weekend’s FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City remains to be seen, but it is clear Pulisic is playing with real confidence at the moment and Thomas Tuchel has been rewarded for his patience in bringing Pulisic along slowly in his plans.