USMNT star Christian Pulisic scored for Chelsea in their 2-0 win against Lille in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Tuesday and he looked sharp throughout.
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Pulisic, 23, was out of the team for Chelsea ahead of the last international break in January and admitted he was struggling with the pressure of being a star in the Premier League and for the USMNT.
Since he returned from USMNT duty, Pulisic played really well as a sub in the Club World Cup final, and said he will stop putting so much pressure on himself to perform for the USMNT.
Speaking to Chelsea TV after the reigning European champions won at Stamford Bridge against Lille, Christian Pulisic admitted he is feeling really good about where his game is at.
USMNT star upbeat
“I’m feeling very good,” Pulisic said. “I’m continuing to try and grow confidence and get some rhythm. I feel really good to be playing and I’m feeling very good at the moment.”
Asked about his goal in the second half, Pulisic heaped praise on N’Golo Kante for creating the opportunity which he finished off clinically.
“Once N’Golo [Kante] gets the ball and he starts driving, I just try to keep up with him man!” Pulisic said. “He is quick, he’s fast, he’s running up the pitch and I trusted he would make the right pass and it was perfect. I just had to finish it off. [Kante] was phenomenal again today. It seems like he never gets tired, just continues to win balls and does so many good things on the field. He’s a great player.”
Winger set to play a key role for Chelsea
The American winger hailed Chelsea’s display against Lille and believes they are in a strong position to advance to the quarterfinals.
“It was a massive performance,” Christian Pulisic said. “I thought we defended really well throughout the whole game. We got the goals we needed to and we’ve put ourselves in a very good position. We’re very happy but we still have a lot of work to do. We wanted to come out with a lot of intensity and show them what we are all about. That is what makes us very strong. Constantly defend, constantly put pressure on the opponent and we did that very well from the start today.”
With Hakim Ziyech coming off against Lille with an injury, Mason Mount battling back from a recent ankle knock and the likes of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku out of form, Pulisic will play a key role for Chelsea in their League Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.
“We try to get as much rest and recovery as we can,” Pulisic said. “We will get focused on another final. We have a tough game against a tough opponent, so we are looking forward to it.”
After winning the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea over the last eight months, Pulisic will play a key part in another potential trophy for the Blues.