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.
IT HAD TO BE HIM. CHRISTIAN PULISIC 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/yfXK3v9H6E
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) April 27, 2021
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.