Pulisic Watch: American winger Christian Pulisic didn’t start Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but was quickly part of the discussion and scored at the end of his 60-minute showing.
Pulisic made his first start since October in midweek Champions League action in Sevilla and was kept on the bench to start Saturday.
[ MORE: JPW asks Lampard about Pulisic’s day ]
But a 29th-minute exit for injured Hakim Ziyech meant an hour for the USMNT star, and Pulisic finished off Leeds when he slid Timo Werner’s cross past Illan Meslier in stoppage time.
It’s his first goal of the Premier League season and second in all comps after scoring against Krasnodar in the Champions League. Pulisic has 13 goals and 10 assists in 42 appearances all-time with Chelsea.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Chelsea – Leeds ]
Most important: Pulisic finished his second hour-long run in four days as he continues to find form and fitness after two injury layoffs to start the season.
Here’s how he did Saturday, minute-by-minute.
Pulisic Watch from Chelsea – Leeds
32′ — Picks off a poor clearance from Leeds but can’t totally tame the hard-hit attempt and the ball is cleared properly before he can properly attempt a shot.
42′ — Moving well and combining well with Giroud as usual, Pulisic has yet to fire a shot but has clearly grown into the game.
45+1′ — Slips Ben Chilwell into the final third but the English fullback is dispossessed by a sliding tackle.
HT — In 14 minutes, Pulisic completes 9-of-12 passes and makes one tackle, failing to complete his lone dribble attempt.
48′ — Pulisic comes back from the 18 to collect a pass, turning his mark before laying off for another Chilwell cross from the left that is collected by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
51′ — Works a 1-2 with Mason Mount in tight quarters inside the 18, electing not to lay off for Mount and instead dribble toward the top of the 18 to cut a shot that’s deflected into the hands of Meslier.
68′ — Pulisic leads a charge down the left to again lay off for Chilwell, the ensuing cross giving both Giroud and Pulisic a chance to score but the tricky bouncing ball goes wide of the near post.
82′ — Wins the ball at midfield and plays wide to Kovacic, but the Croatian midfielder’s attempted through ball is cut out by Leeds.
87′ — All about defense now, and his overhead clearance briefly soothes danger but doesn’t get the ball out of the Chelsea off. Leeds play the ball back into the 18 but it’s dealt with by Reece James.
90+3′ — Werner blazed down the right side and feeds the ball into the six for Pulisic, who darted past a sleeping Diego Llorente to slide the ball over Meslier and the goal line.
90+4′ — Raphinha chops down the American goal scorer for a foul.
Final stats: 60 minutes, goal, 43 touches, 19-of-24 passing, one shot on target, three blocked, four-of-six dribbles completed, 7-of13 duels won, one foul, two fouls drawn, one tackle (SofaScore).