Marcos Alonso

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WATCH: Super subs Pulisic, Batshuayi link up for Chelsea winner

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Christian Pulisic is Chelsea’s super sub, and if he keeps it up it will be hard for Frank Lampard to keep him on the bench.

After getting a hockey assist in Chelsea’s lone goal this weekend, the American winger entered the fray at Ajax with the same score line at Johan Cruyff Arena.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch ]

Immediately active, the 21-year-old set up his old pal Michy Batshuayi, also a sub, as he did so often at Borussia Dortmund.

Pulisic dribbled past Sergino Dest to open up space for a cutback from the left, which rolled through Marcos Alonso‘s legs and onto the path of Batshuayi, who likes himself from that part of the field.

Pulisic had two shots and connected on 12 of 13 passes, taking two corners with one successful dribble in just over 20 minutes of work.

The assist is Pulisic’s fifth in 524 minutes with the Blues, while he awaits his first goal.

Christian Pulisic watch: How did USMNT star perform v. Ajax?

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How did Christian Pulisic perform for Chelsea against Ajax on Wednesday?

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Pretty darn well in the 25 or so minutes he got on the pitch in his UEFA Champions League debut for the Premier League club. He changed the game and set up Michy Batshuayi‘s late winning goal to grab his fifth assist of the season in all competitions.

This was Pulisic’s best performances for Chelsea so far, and built off the momentum of his fine display late on against Newcastle on Saturday to help the Blues to another 1-0 win.

Pulisic, 21, came on as a second half sub once again and made a massive impact as he came close to scoring on several occasions and made some superb runs from the left side.

Here’s a look at what Pulisic did when he came on for the Blues.

67th minute: Nice moment as he walks onto the pitch and gives his USMNT teammate Sergino Dest, playing for Ajax, a smile.

68th minute: Tracks back and does enough to put Dest off, as his cross goes straight at Kepa.

69th minute: Presses high and forces Ajax goalkeeper Onana to clear quickly.

71st minute: Makes a superb run into the box but isn’t found by Marcos Alonso. Frustrating for Pulisic.

72nd minute: Pulisic cuts in from the left, gliding in with ease past defenders and slots in fellow sub Michy Batshuayi but his low shot is saved.

73rd minute: Makes another driving run in from the left wing and his deflected shot loops up and finds Batshuayi, but he blazes over. Chelsea should lead.

76th minute: Involved in a challenge with Sergino Dest as the Ajax man wins the ball back.

78th minute: Pulisic played in again down the left and crosses for Hudson-Odoi, but Ajax clear his shot for a corner.

80th minute: Once again cuts in from the left and beats three players, then plays a one-two with Batshuayi before firing wide. Great play from Pulisic. Again.

84th minute: Wins a free kick after being fouled by Dest, then gives Mexico’s Edson Alvarez a little shove as he picks himself off the floor. Feisty.

86th minute: Pulisic cuts inside from the left, beats Dest on the dribble and pulls it back for Batshuayi who hammers home to put Chelsea 1-0 up. Pulisic assist. A Pulassist, if you will…

92nd minute: Keeps the ball in the corner. Wins another corner. Vital in seeing Chelsea play out the win.

Lampard ‘pleased for Pulisic,’ praises subs in Chelsea win

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Frank Lampard‘s fired up on-field response to Chelsea’s resilient 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday carried over to the post-match press conference.

The manager’s subs enabled the Blues to claim all three points, as Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic changed the midfield and helped prod Marcos Alonso‘s second-half winner.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle ]

“Saw a spirit and energy of the team, keep picking up the wins and take nothing for granted,” he said.

“We had a problem in the game, but solved it. Kovacic was outstanding and Christian got at people. I am pleased, we have to play like that. We got our way.”

Lampard was asked specifically about Pulisic, and said the atmosphere around the American star needs to calm down a little bit.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch ]

“I am really pleased for him,” Lampard said. “He is a hot topic. Everyone has got a little carried away. To see him play that way (was good).”

Chelsea will finish the weekend in the Top Five and its favorable run of fixtures continue after the Champions League midweek. The Blues next see Burnley, Watford, and Crystal Palace before its next top-end tilt with Man City.

Chelsea breaks through late to top Newcastle United

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Marcos Alonso‘s second half goal helped Chelsea break through well-drilled Newcastle United in a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

American sub Christian Pulisic stole the ball to help set up the opener, turning in a fine performance over the final 20 minutes.

Chelsea moves third on 17 points, while Newcastle slips into 18th with eight points.

Three things we learned

1. Magpies haven’t forgotten Rafa rationale: Newcastle couldn’t take its chances on the counter, but proved a headache for another would-be contender with tight marking and tighter spacing in its own third. Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark were sure to punish Chelsea forwards with physical play, clean and dirty, and the Blues had all kinds of trouble finding ways to trouble Martin Dubravka, who was strong himself until Alonso’s winner.

2. Chelsea wings get points for industry, creativity: Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian were very active and productive on the day, particularly the former. One of the reasons Christian Pulisic was deployed was Mason Mount‘s inability to make something happen in the No. 10 (ish) role, and the American would make a decisive play to help Hudson-Odoi get his deserved assist.

3. Lampard’s sub makes the difference: Credit Frank Lampard for seeing that Mount wasn’t firing well and deploying a new man in the middle. That was American star Pulisic, who stole the ball in the final third and fed Hudson-Odoi, who in turn found Alonso for a blast across goal. Dubravka should’ve done better, but the break through arrived in London. For a full look at his 25 minutes, head here.

Man of the Match: Hudson-Odoi.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin was again a menace for the Magpies, winning a pair of early free kicks and setting up Joelinton for chances that ultimately were wasted.

The hosts finally got a chance from a Callum Hudson-Odoi cross to the back post, but Willian powered his header across goal and wide.

Jorginho‘s incisive pass to Hudson-Odoi led to another chance for Mount, but the Englishman’s rip was pushed off the bar by Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka.

Marcos Alonso was shown a yellow for chopping down DeAndre Yedlin.

Newcastle produced a good move that ended with a Joelinton nod wide before the 25th minute.

The second half brought better from the hosts, as Tammy Abraham thumped a 56th minute header off the cross bar.

Chelsea would look to change its fortunes in the 64th minute via Christian Pulisic, who arrived on the scene for Mason Mount.

Abraham headed over the bar soon after Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi helped earn a corner for the Blues.

Pulisic was robbed by Dubravka when he turned a deflected pass into a prime chance.

That’s when Newcastle brought on Andy Carroll for Miguel Almiron, moving a twin tower approach to the forefront.

But Chelsea found the heroics, with Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi teaming up to put Alonso on the score sheet.

Newcastle nearly found an equalizer when Christian Atsu‘s cross to the back post was popped over the bar by a leaping Clark.

Chelsea breeze past Southampton

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SOUTHAMPTON — Chelsea beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s on Sunday, as Frank Lampard‘s side moved up the fifth in the Premier League table.

[ MORE: How did Pulisic perform? ]

Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante all scored in the first half to set the Blues on their way and even though Danny Ings pulled a goal back, Michy Batshuayi‘s late goal did the damage.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

With the win Chelsea now have 14 points, while Saints remain on seven points.

3 things we learned

1. Jorginho, Kante run the show: The attacking duo of Mount and Abraham will get plenty of the plaudits, but Kante and Jorginho were sublime in midfield. Kante scored, via a deflection, and Jorginho was at the heart of everything good Chelsea did going forward, as well as clearing an effort off the line and doing the dirty work. The two defensive midfielders set the tone for this Chelsea win and their intelligence on the ball and in terms of positioning gave them a platform to win this game.

2. Chelsea’s defensive fragilities on show: Even though it was a fairly routine win in the end, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in their opening eight games of the season. Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori looked a a little shaky in possession, as a better team would have scored three of four times. Addressing the top-heavy nature of this Chelsea side is a must if they’re going to finish in the top four.

3. Saints’ tough season gets tougher: Once again Southampton were their own worst enemies as three big defensive errors led to goals in the first half. James Ward-Prowse, Jan Bednarek and Jan Valery were all at fault, as only two PL teams have conceded more goals than Saints so far this season. With games against Wolves, Man City, Everton, Leicester and Arsenal coming up, Saints will likely be in the bottom three when December rolls around.

Man of the Match: Callum Hudson-Odoi – The winger played a perfect ball over the top for the opening goal and was lively throughout. The 18-year-old oozed quality on the ball and made superb runs inside all game long.

Saints started brightly as Nathan Redmond fired over and their high-pressing caused Chelsea’s defense some issues.

At the other end Abraham fired a shot on target which Angus Gunn saved and some hefty challenges started to fly in as Shane Long put himself about.

Chelsea then took the lead with their first big chance of the game as after a poor giveaway in midfield, Callum Hudson-Odoi dinked the ball over the top and Abraham lobbed home a wonderful finish.

The Blues doubled their lead after another Saints mistake, as Jan Bednarek’s header was short and Jorginho picked out Mount to fire home.

Mount then missed the target twice and just when it looked like Chelsea would run away with it, Saints pulled one back. Yan Valery went on a mazy run past four Chelsea players and into the box, and his cut-back found Ings as the ball went in off him and Kurt Zouma to make it 2-1.

Before half time Chelsea restored their half time lead as Marcos Alonso was allowed plenty of time and space on the left and his pass found Kante, who’s shot deflected off Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and in.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Gunn denied Hudson-Odoi at the start of the second half as the Blues dominate possession and Saints barely threatened.

Alonso’s cross was almost knocked into his own net by Maya Yoshida as Chelsea click through the gears in the final stages.

Ings headed wide as Southampton tried to push for a way back into the game, but Chelsea sealed the win in style.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic jumped off the bench and cracked Saints’ defense open with a lovely pass as fellow sub Batshuayi slammed home to make it 4-1.