It took Christian Pulisic only five minutes after coming on to make a huge contribution to yesterday’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa. The American scored the equaliser as Chelsea turned around a half-time deficit to win 2-1 with Olivier Giroud grabbing the winner for three points which strengthened our challenge for a top-four position.
After the game, Frank Lampard spoke of Pulisic’s hunger to do well after a nasty muscle injury followed by the pandemic had prevented him playing since New Year’s Day. The manager also emphasised that the 21-year-old’s potential marks him down as a big player in Chelsea’s short-term and long-term future.
Pulisic himself is naturally pleased with his contribution after he was introduced with 55 minutes played.
‘I’m really glad that I could come in and help the team in any way that I could,’ he said. ‘Luckily I was able to get a goal and also help us get a great result.
‘The manager just told me to go on and try and help us win the game. There was nothing special or anything in particular, I just wanted to try and use my talents and see what I could do. I’m happy I was able to do that.
‘I don’t think I actually hit it perfectly with my left,’ he admitted, speaking about his far-post finish from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross. ‘Luckily I got enough on it to steer it on target and I was just happy to see the ball go in.’
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The game was a first for Chelsea. We had never played a competitive game behind closed doors before, but this new experience will become very familiar for the players in the coming weeks.
‘Obviously it’s very different, playing without fans in pretty difficult circumstances but I think the team brought a really good energy,’ said Pulisic. ‘I’m just really happy that we were able to come here and get a good result.
‘I’ve been out for a while and it definitely felt nice to be back out on the pitch following my injury. All the guys have been off for a while now, because of the lockdown, but we’ve been trying to stay as fit as we possibly can do and now we just have to get back into the rhythm of things, as the games come.’
Pulisic is also happy to see Chelsea reach an agreement to sign Timo Werner, a player he knows well as a former opponent in the Bundesliga.
‘We already have a really strong team, with really good players and to add guys like that [Werner] it’s incredible. We’re focused on this season for now, but at the same time we are excited for what’s to come.’