After netting his eighth goal of the season in our big win at Leeds United, Christian Pulisic reflected on a huge team performance while also talking about competition for places ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final and a return to form for Romelu Lukaku…
Chelsea had not won either of our previous two away matches before heading to Elland Road and needed a crucial three points to maintain a push towards Champions League qualification for next season.
Those three points eventually came after we netted three wonderfully created goals but in truth a positive result looked promising from the opening exchanges, with Mason Mount putting us ahead with just a few minutes on the clock.
‘I thought we started really well, we came out with a lot of intensity and got a goal and then obviously the red card made it a bit easier. All around it was a good performance, but we still have some important games coming to focus on,’ Pulisic said.
‘We knew how they like to play as a team and we knew it was important - especially coming here with the atmosphere and everything - to start well and come out, and we showed that.’
A win puts the Blues eight points clear of fifth place Spurs with two games to go, both of which are at home in the final week of the season, and the American believes a top-four spot is now ours to lose – despite Spurs having a game in hand.
‘We dropped a couple of points and we were not happy at all, but we always try and stay positive and look forward to our next game,' he added. 'Today puts us in a really good spot, we can control our own destiny, so now we need to continue and go on to get result after result.
‘Of course, we wanted to finish with as many as we can, we definitely could have been slightly more clinical. A 3-0 win away, we are happy and we’re happy with the performance all around.’
Pulisic’s goal, which doubled our advantage against 10-man Leeds, would have had to have been some strike to better Mason Mount’s opener, though it was a goal which illustrated different qualities, with it being a finish which wrapped up a fabulous team move.
‘It was really nicely worked from the back and I placed it in the corner with not too much power, it was good to score. Once I got the ball it was a nice finish, and a good team goal,’ Christian said of his finish.
Chelsea face a trip to Wembley next for a chance of winning the FA Cup for the first time since 2018.
Individual performances last night will most certainly not have dented any player’s chances of a place in the starting XI under the Wembley arch, though Tuchel will have selection dilemmas all over the pitch come Saturday.
Though Pulisic says that is always commonplace when you play for a side like Chelsea.
‘It is always intense in this team we have a lot of depth, which is only a good thing. We are going to need everyone in the remaining games, especially in the final at the weekend.
We are always competing against each other, you always want to play well and perform and give yourself a good chance of starting the next match, not just because of the final.’
The American also had some positive words to say on striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored his third goal in his last two starts.
‘It is what Rom does, he scores goals,' said Christian. 'He’s a great player and it is good to see him in form now.’