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Christian Pulisic scores opening goal in Chelsea-Real Madrid UCL semifinal


Christian Pulisic has played against Real Madrid before, but his meeting with the Spanish champions on Tuesday was a much more important affair, and he marked the occasion with a moment to remember.

Pulisic scored the opening goal in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League semifinal at Real Madrid on Tuesday, giving the Blues a precious away goal in an eventual 1-1 draw.

Chelsea dominated the early play at Alfredo DiStefano Stadium, keeping Real Madrid on the back-foot with Pulisic at the forefront of that early surge. Shortly after Pulisic created golden chance for Timo Werner with a perfect header pass, only to see it wasted by a poor Werner effort, Pulisic took it upon himself to find the goal.

The U.S. Men’s National Team star collected an Antonio Rudiger pass and faced up Thibaut Courtois before dribbling around the Real Madrid goalkeeper to give Chelsea the 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.

The goal made Pulisic the first American to score a goal in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, and also made him the all-time leading American scorer in the UEFA Champions League with five, breaking the record previously held by DaMarcus Beasley.

Pulisic left the match in the 66th minute, part of a triple substitution, exiting the match along with Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta and making room for Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Reece James. Pulisic finished the match with a game-high five successful dribbles and three key passes, completing 25 of his 28 passes.

Karim Benzema scored an excellent goal to help Real Madrid tie things up heading into halftime, but Chelsea will have a precious away goal heading back to Stamford Bridge.


  1. I mean this isn’t surprising. Pulisic when fit and in form, straight up is one of the best players in the world. Not sure why people still act like that isn’t an established fact.

  2. Well…those are the kind of goals Americans never have scored before, in games Americans have never played in before.

    That’s what we wanted to see from him, isn’t it?

    (crickets chirping, I keep waiting for the “yes, BUT…” qualifiers on why it doesn’t matter somehow)

  3. Two things we learned from this match. 1. The kid is back. If he doesn’t start over the weekend it will be only because Tuchel wants to save him for the second leg next week. 2. The rain in Spain falls mainly in Madrid. One of the biggest downpours I’ve ever seen a game played in, and England has a lot of downpours.

  4. Real Madrid in Madrid in the ECL semi finals. This is about the biggest goal you can score in world football outside of the ECL or World Cup final.

  5. Puli should have had an assist before his goal, but Werner couldn’t finish, still not sure how he failed to put that one away, at least he didn’t whiff I guess…

  6. Come on you nerds. You could score a goal that wins your pub team free beer for a year and it would be huge for you and the lads, but that is not what anyone means by biggest. There are only two candidates from club competition, and they are this one and Adams’ from last year, because they are on the biggest stage with the best players on the field and the most prestige on the line.

    I’m a little torn between the two. Adams’ was a late winner in the second leg, so that’s way bigger timing-wise, but it was only a quarter-final, and it took a wicked deflection, so points off for that. Pulisic’s was in a semi, but first leg, early… loses timing points but it was a big individual effort. I think I’d give it to Adams. Just a bigger moment.

    • I could be more direct. Our definition of “biggest goal” should be the one that gives us the best ammo to argue that we don’t suck at soccer anymore. Because we rightfully have a complex about that. So — 1. we have guys on champions league teams, 2 – real champions league teams, not the eastern european ones, 3 – they start the big games, and 4 – they score goals in the big games. You gotta go with these two goals.

      What a great problem to have, debating these things like a bunch of drunk blokes… Go USA!!!!

    • It is definitely Among them and qualifies for highest level of UCL. Here are Some others of note:

      1.Adams goal to win the match against Atleti to send Leipzig into the UCLA semis.

      2. RunDMB goal at PSV to send them deeper into the UCL (eventually making the semis).

      3. Maurice Edu with the winners in Rangers vs. Celtic.

      4. Of course Dempsey in the match against Juventus in the Europa League capping off a huge comeback.

      5. Pulisic scoring in the FA Cup final.

      6. John Harkes scoring goal of the year.

      7. Jay Demerit scoring the opening goal to get Watford to the Premiership.

      • I would have to put Jay Demerit at the top of that list just for the financial gain of scoring the goal that put Watford in the Premier League. For some teams, promotion from the Championship is the equivalent of winning the Champions League. A very good list though.

      • Going by the examples set in this thread it seems like Pulisic just had the most important goal by an American. DMB the only one I would consider close

      • Not many geezers left who remember the Harks goal from the 90s. It was a thing of beauty, a shock to the system and sign of things to come

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