Tammy Abraham

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Pulisic believes Chelsea “on a good path” despite early defeats

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Christian Pulisic has pushed for renewed faith in Chelsea despite the club’s two early defeats, calling for fans to believe in Frank Lampard, back Tammy Abraham, and trust that the Blues are “on a good path.”

The Blues were beaten 4-0 by Manchester United in the Premier League opener and followed that up with a defeat to Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup after a 2-2 draw. Chelsea must pick itself up for the club’s home opener against Leicester City on Sunday, and Pulisic believes the good Fortune will come their way soon.

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“It was harsh on us,” the American said to Evening Standard journalist James Olley after the loss to Liverpool. “A few things just didn’t go our way, a few decisions and in the end, to lose on penalties, that’s just how it goes. But we can be really proud of how we played. I don’t feel that we had a fair result at Old Trafford either. We’ve been creating enough chances to win these games and we just have to keep going and keep fighting.”

Pulisic was a substitute against Manchester United but made his full debut against Liverpool and assisted the game’s first goal with a brilliant burst down the middle and pass to Olivier Giroud. He was brought off for young Mason Mount and therefore did not participate in extra time or penalties. Tammy Abraham came on for Giroud and was fantastic, earning the penalty that leveled the game in extra time, but his penalty was saved to give Liverpool the win. Pulisic knows that’s how things go sometimes, and that the performance is far more encouraging than the poor penalty is upsetting.

“We said to him ‘It’s penalties, man – somebody has to miss’,” Pulisic said. “He’s going to get his head up. Obviously it’s tough but penalties are like that. He can deal with it and he’ll be fine. He’ll move on, he’ll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten. We’re there for him.”

He also believes in Frank Lampard, who has showed growing pains in his young Chelsea managerial career but was improved in the Liverpool match and has won over his players in a short time. “It’s been great working with him,” Pulisic said of Lampard. “We’ve learned a lot so far and I think you can see the team forming. We have a lot of great players which makes it easier. We’re on a good path.”

Chelsea has hit the post three times in the two matches thus far, and twice they had a goal ruled out for offside, including one by Pulisic who thought he had picked up his first Chelsea goal. They now take on Leicester City in a critical match for both clubs, with each side looking for a first win of the campaign to avoid lingering fears of a disappointing season to come.

Lampard pushes positives after Chelsea’s Super Cup defeat

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Frank Lampard had nothing but glowing things to say about his Chelsea squad despite defeat in the Super Cup to Premier League rivals Liverpool.

Chelsea drew 2-2 but fell on penalties when Tammy Abraham‘s effort was saved by Adrian. The Blues boss believed his side was the stronger squad in the match and was delighted they went toe-to-toe with the defending Champions League champions.

“Clearly for me we were the stronger team,” Lampard said during his post-match media duties. “We had bad luck at times and bad finishing at times. My overall feeling is one of pride in team performance and happiness.”

Lampard particularly hoped that Abraham could put his critical miss behind him. The 21-year-old Chelsea academy graduate was bright after coming on in the 74th minute to replace Olivier Giroud, and won the penalty that brought the scoreline level in extra-time.

“Tammy needs to keep his head up,” Lampard told BT Sport after the game. “That’s part and parcel of being a top player. You want to take the fifth penalty but you might miss it.”

And Abraham wasn’t the only player whose positive influence he hoped to spotlight. “Talk about Jorginho, talk about that performance, talk about [N’Golo] Kante who has hardly trained, talk about Kurt Zouma, Andreas [Christensen], I could go through them all, incredible.  I’m really proud and I know we lost, but I’m confident for the season after that.”

Liverpool wins UEFA Super Cup on penalties over Chelsea

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Tammy Abraham‘s pressure shootout effort was saved by Adrian and Liverpool took home the UEFA Super Cup on penalties after drawing 2-2 with Chelsea in regulation and extra-time.

Christian Pulisic started for Chelsea and was fantastic, picking up his first Blues assist on Olivier Giroud‘s opener in the first half. Sadio Mane got the first of his brace to bring the Champions League winners back level just after the halftime break. With the game 1-1 after regulation, Mane delivered a thumping finish five minutes into the added period, but a Jorginho penalty leveled the match back up minutes later.

Liverpool was the brighter side off the jump, as Kepa Arrizabalaga was required on 16 minutes to keep out Mohamed Salah who got past the Chelsea defense. The Blues then began to attack brightly down the left with Pedro but the Spaniard struck the crossbar, bringing back nightmares of the Old Trafford defeat over the weekend.

As both teams traded first-half blows, Virgil Van Dijk just fired over the bar as he looked to head home a 29th minute corner, and another set-piece brought an open attempt for Mane who forced a save from Kepa. Deputising for the injured Alisson int the Liverpool net, Adrian was on hand to make a superb charging save past the half-hour mark.

The opener came nine minutes before the halftime break as Christian Pulisic picked up his first Chelsea assist, beautifully charging into the attacking third on the ball and feeding a perfectly-timed Olivier Giroud run to get past the back line. The Frenchman finished one-on-one past Adrian from the left edge of the six-yard area, putting the Blues in front.

Pulisic appeared to have his first Chelsea goal as well just minutes later, but Pulisic was judged correctly to be offside on the buildup, nullifying his impressive chopped finish. N’Golo Kante was excellent in midfield, looking rejuvenated under Frank Lampard despite reprising his central midfield role on the right side of a trio as Jorginho continued in a more defensive role.

After the break, Liverpool had exactly the response they required. Roberto Firmino came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and it bore immediate fruit as Fabinho pinged a looping ball over the Chelsea back line, and the Brazilian was on hand to receive the flick. Firmino poked it over to Sadio Mane just next to him, and the Ghanan got it past Kepa on his second attempt to level the scoreline at 1-1.

Chelsea struggled to get a foothold in the second half but past the half-hour mark they were back on the front foot as Pulisic had a volleyed effort from the top of the box go out off van Dijk for a corner.  The game ground to a halt with 20 minutes to go, but Liverpool came so close to going in front again on 75 minutes. A corner swung in and found an unmarked Salah at the far post, but his initial effort was blocked. It came to van Dijk back at the near post and somehow the Dutchman’s effort with the goal gaping was straight at Kepa who produced a fabulous reflex save to deflect the ball up and out off the crossbar.

Mason Mount came on for Pulisic with 15 minutes to go, and he nearly put Chelsea in front with the ball in the back of the net, but it was again ruled out for offside. The game progressed to full-time still level at 1-1, so extra-time was required to help decide a winner.

Mane grabbed his second goal five minutes into the added period with a thumping finish, played in by Firmino who delivered an exquisite cutback into the penalty area, perfectly weighted for Mane to then produce a thunderbolt strike. With Liverpool 2-1 up, Chelsea responded immediately as substitute Tammy Abraham was chopped down by Adrian in the penalty area and history-making referee Frappart – who had a stellar game in charge – pointed to the spot, with VAR confirming the decision. Jorginho made it 2-2 with a cool clipped penalty as Adrian crumbled the wrong way.

Abraham was dangerous in his appearance up front in place of Giroud, nearly giving Chelsea a winner just before the extra-time break, with his finish across the face of goal just beating the far post. Pedro and Mount both came close as well in the second half, but the game went to penalties with no winner produced. In the shootout, every penalty taker scored until the death when Abraham’s must-score effort was saved by Adrian to give Liverpool the victory.

Manchester United pummels Chelsea behind Pogba playmaking

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Paul Pogba set up two goals and Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United clobbered Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Blues were the better team for the first hour aside from a conceded penalty, but the dam exploded in the second half.

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American winger Christian Pulisic came off the bench for Chelsea with an hour to play.

Both Daniel James and Anthony Martial also scored in the win.


Three things we learned

1. Paul Pogba looked a man inspired, chipping in at both ends and scooping up two assists. The first was an audacious, inch-perfect ball to lift the lid on the defense and the second came after leading a marauding counter attack and playing a scintillating little pass to James.

2. Both Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer want to give the kids a chance, even if the former didn’t give our American kid a start. Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira held places in United’s XI, and both Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham opened business for Chelsea.

Lampard, however, perhaps got a little too cute in handing the Abraham an opening day start at Old Trafford when he had Olivier Giroud‘s experience in the mix (albeit with the knowledge that Giroud doesn’t have a great record at United). Abraham was quick and industrious but perhaps a bit tipsy from the stage.

UPDATE: Jose Mourinho, speaking on Sky Sports, agrees.

“Alonso, Kante and Giroud were on the bench. To come to Old Trafford, even if it’s not the huge Manchester United team that used to scare people, it’s still Manchester United, it’s the first match at home, first match of the season, people are excited. A little bit of experience would fit well with the team. You look at the performance of Mount, Abraham and Christensen and I think for matches of this dimension you need a bit more.”

3. Top strikers — and we have no idea if Marcus Rashford will prove to be one — score even when they’re struggling, and Rashford won and converted a penalty despite looking out of place for the first 15 minutes of the match.

Man of the Match:  Aaron Wan-Bissaka


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Tammy Abraham hammered a shot off the post in the fifth minute, and it didn’t even appear to spin (and may have been heard to whimper).

At the other end, a poor giveaway allowed Anthony Martial a prime chance. The French hit a low drive to Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Mason Mount hit a hard shot that deflected off Harry Maguire but spun to David De Gea in the 12th.

Marcus Rashford had a poor first quarter-hour but his mistouch put Kurt Zouma off balance and the Chelsea man chopped him down for a penalty. Rashford roofed his effort for a 1-0 lead.

De Gea made a fine leg save on Ross Barkley as the match neared halftime, and Victor Lindelof blocked Jorginho‘s mediocre attempt to volley the rebound home. And Emerson smashed a shot off the top of the near post moments later.

Emerson forced De Gea into another fine save in the 56th minute.

Chelsea introduced Christian Pulisic around the hour mark, and the Blues had all of the ball but gave up a goal at the next United opportunity.

That came when Martial bodied up to meet Andreas Pereira’s cross at the center of the box.

Two minutes later, Rashford ran onto an inch-perfect long ball from Pogba and put his shot behind Arrizabalaga for 3-0.

Pogba then led a free kick counter attack down the left of the pitch before slipping a sensational pass through to James, whose shot turned off Emerson and past Arrizabalaga.

Watch Live: Manchester United v. Chelsea

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The biggest match of the Premier League’s opening weekend is last, as Manchester United welcomes Christian Pulisic and Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Well, Pulisic will be on the bench. Tammy Abraham is atop a trident Pedro, Ross Barkley, and Mason Mount.

Meanwhile, United starts new signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

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