Christian Pulisic clockwatch: All the action from the Chelsea and USA star's perfect hat-trick
Christian Pulisic was handed a first Premier League start since August when Chelsea visited Burnley on Saturday and the United States star certainly did not disappoint.
A £58million (€64m) signing from Borussia Dortmund - the deal agreed in January before the Blues were hit with a FIFA player registration ban - Pulisic has been forced to bide his time during the early stages of Frank Lampard's reign, with the Stamford Bridge hero electing to blood Chelsea's homegrown youngsters.
"The way he's played he deserves a starting place regularly in the last few weeks, but so do others and that's what I keep saying it's the nice problem that I have," Lampard said ahead of the trip to Turf Moor, the 21-year-old having laid on Michy Batshuayi's late Champions League winner at Ajax in midweek as part of a lively cameo.
It will certainly be very hard to take Pulisic out of the Blues' first XI anytime soon after he scored a perfect hat-trick in an impressive 4-2 win, while proving a thorn in Burnley's side throughout the contest.
Here, we take a blow-by-blow look at a breakout Premier League performance.
Four on the Moor! pic.twitter.com/5kTm7ZTFFh— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 26, 2019
4th minute – The sight of Pulisic shimmying infield from the left to put the Burnley defence on their heels would quickly become familiar, but this was more of an exploratory mission as he was tracked tenaciously by Jeff Hendrick and laid the ball off to Mateo Kovacic.
9th minute – Another indication that Pulisic was still feeling his way into the Chelsea attack as Tammy Abraham held up play on halfway. He ignored the American's run through the middle, opting for an unsuccessful diagonal ball to Willian on the right.
14th minute – The first sign of what was to come. Pulisic launched into a driving run from the left to leave Burnley scrambling. Ben Mee caught the playmaker late after he offloaded possession to Mason Mount.
21st minute – GOAL! Pulisic gave the ball away initially but his pressure contributed to Matthew Lowton losing his footing. The Chelsea man did not need a second invitation, tearing towards the penalty area and beating James Tarkowski with a stepover before arrowing across Nick Pope left-footed.
28th minute – Some wonderful chest control from Willian's crossfield pass forced Pope to save from a shot that deflected off Lowton.
35th minute – Chelsea endured some tricky moments, with Ashley Barnes passing up opportunities to equalise. Pulisic helped to get them back on the foot and Tarkowski had to block his attempt after Marcos Alonso's cross was not dealt with.
39th minute – Again, Pulisic sashayed towards the area, drawing four defenders. That created space for the pass inside to Abraham, who shot wide from the edge of the box.
45th minute – GOAL! Pulisic wrapped up an irresistible first-half display by seizing upon another loose moment in possession from Burnley. The home defence backed off, allowing their tormentor to create an angle for a right-footed strike. This time a deflection, off Mee, worked in his favour and Pope was beaten at his near post.
54th minute – Given room to advance towards an increasingly beleaguered Clarets backline, Pulisic looked to slide a throughball to Abraham but Mee checked the forward's run.
56th minute – GOAL! Mount's left-wing corner was cleared back to him and Pulisic found space at the near post to flick the second delivery backwards and into the net – replacing Abraham as Chelsea's youngest Premier League hat-trick scorer. He is only the second American to score a hat-trick in the competition after Clint Dempsey.
68th minute – Ten minutes after Willian made it 4-0, Pulisic popped up on the right flank and twisted beyond Erik Pieters. Lowton headed his chip to the far post behind with Abraham in close attendance.
86th minute – A perfect hat-trick but not quite the perfect performance. Lampard will not need to remind Pulisic that him giving the ball away allowed Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez to thrash a fabulous long-ranger into the top corner.
88th minute – Pulisic got the jump on Pieters but could not convert Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross. Dwight McNeil's deflected attempt gave Burnley the final goal of an action-packed contest, but Pulisic's contributions will live longest in the memory.