Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea (5-4 on pens): 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
#4 Christian Pulisic dazzles on his first start for Chelsea
Back in January, Chelsea got their chequebook out and acquired the services of Christian Pulisic. The American was signed with an eye on the impending departure of Eden Hazard and the Blues’ swiftness in the winter ensured that they were able to register the forward before their transfer ban struck.
Inevitably, the youngster was looked upon as a ready-made replacement for Hazard with expectations hitting fever pitch. And, against Liverpool, the American did make a case for being able to take up that mantle briskly.
Pulisic started the game with intent and his direct running caught the Liverpool defence off-guard. Additionally, his close control and quick feet allowed him to wriggle out of tight areas with ease.
The winger was a constant outlet down the flank for Chelsea and even popped up in the centre at times. On one particular occasion, the American’s propensity to drive the ball forward attracted the Liverpool defenders towards him.
At that juncture, Pulisic displayed the resolve to pick out the right pass and play in Giroud. The American also had a brilliant goal chalked out for a marginal offside.
Through his tenure at Stamford Bridge, Hazard carved a niche for himself and led the club to unparalleled heights. Thus, the player expected to take his place was always going to be under an enormous amount of pressure.
However, if early performances are any indicator, one reckons that Pulisic is revelling in the responsibility accorded to him. And, with age on his side, the American could well embark on a giant upward curve in the games to come.