Christian Pulisic's poaching ability wins praise from Chelsea manager

Christian Pulisic's goal in Chelsea's 2-1 win Watford gave him four goals in his last two games and equaled his single-season high in his four seasons at Borussia Dortmund.

Pulisic goals per 90/minutes:
1. 2019-20: Chelsea (0.74)
2. 2015-16: Bor. Dortmund (0.47)
3. 2018-19: Bor. Dortmund (0.39)
4. 2016-17: Bor. Dortmund (0.18)
5. 2017-18: Bor. Dortmund (0.16)
Note: League play only.

Most important, he won praise from Chelsea manager Frank Lampard for the manner in which he scored, darting from behind his marker to meet Tammy Abraham’s pass in front of the goal for the second goal in the Blues' seventh straight away win.

“It’s great to see Christian scoring a goal from four yards out,” the first-year Chelsea manager said. “I love to see that because he could have decided not to go the extra mile and then that ball flashes across the face but nobody gets on the end of it. If he continues doing that sort of thing then the goals will rack up because there are a lot of goals to get in the six-yard box.”

Lampard should know what he is talking about. The Independent reported he scored 104 of his 177 Premier League goals from open play within the 18-yard box, many with late runs like Pulisic made to connect on Abraham's pass.

The performance sets Pulisic up to make his first Champions League start for Chelsea on Tuesday against Ajax with first place on the line.

Pulisic played just 24 minutes in Chelsea's first three Champions League after playing 1,427 minutes in his four seasons at Dortmund.

13 comments about "Christian Pulisic's poaching ability wins praise from Chelsea manager".
  1. frank schoon, November 4, 2019 at 10:14 a.m.

    Guys, did you notice how many defenders outnumer the attackers in the penalty area, 7vs3 including the goalie. All the defenders are ball watchers, having no idea who is directly behind or to the left. How often do you see goals scored when the defenders outnumber the opponents in front of the goal. This scene is due to zonal defense, for defenders have forgotten how to play man to man. The defenders are more concerned that their whole defense line moving collectively in a straight line than looking for an opponent. Because of the ineffient numbers of defenders to opponent attackers it forces the midfielders to do more running ,wasting energy.

    Frank Lampard stated the Pulisic is a good poacher. That is not saying much. I much rather would have heard FL say that Christian has good dribbling capabilities the Chelsea attack to outnumber the opponents and thereby creating space in front of the goal, or Christian has great passing abilities which allow his teammate to never change his tempo upon receiving the ball, or ball is always on time with the right velocity and/or he great cross pass that allows for switching the attack or a fantastic cross. But 'poaching' capability? that is not impressive.
    If FL refers to Pulisic's goal in this video  as 'poaching' ,well I would say,  when the attacking  player is that close to the endling you need player(s) in front of the goal to put the ball in.... IT'S THAT SIMPLE. This has nothing to do with poaching. It has nothing to do with a wonderful run by Pulisic. This is what you're suppose to do. As matter of fact in this situation there should be 3 players positioned in a triangular situation in front of the goal for a cross, that's standard.

  2. Kent James replied, November 4, 2019 at 1:47 p.m.

    While I agree with your analysis of the weakness of zonal defending (and clearly the defenders did not realize he was there), credit Pulisic, as a midfielder, making a run from the flank to the center (cutting in front of 2 defenders) inside the 6.  That's a good run for a winger, much less a midfielder.  Sometimes it's good to credit what's done right, instead of focusing on everything that was done wrong.  Scoring goals is priceless, even if the defense is at fault.  That's what goalscorers do, they punish any lapse.

  3. frank schoon replied, November 4, 2019 at 2:15 p.m.

    Kent, I look at the game what goes wrong, for so much goes wrong. For example the 2 midfielders were looking away or ball watching. These are players who getting paid million of dollars a year and a make mistakes like that of a 10 year old . In Holland we look with a critical eye on the game for the winners are usually the ones that make the less mistakes and therefore it behooves  to see where the mistakes are made what can be done to  eliminated it.
    This is what I find the problem to be with American soccer , it lacks a critical eye for without it you can't improve soccer. There is way too little critical analysis on TV,  or journalistic, other than usual general  complains  i.
     The goal by Pulisic is basic stuff, a snoozer as far as I'm concerned...Yes, I look at positive things but my appreciation would have to be of a much, much higher caliber that what you considered Pulisic to have achieved.....

  4. Kent James replied, November 4, 2019 at 3:40 p.m.

    Frank, 4 goals in 2 games as a midfielder, with his coach praising him (after not playing him much early in the season), he must be doing something right. I am all for critical analysis, but that should include the positives, and Pulisic made a very creative run for which he was justly rewarded. His timing was perfect; too early, the defender sees him.  Too late, he doesn't get the ball.  Nicely done.  Nothing wrong with recognizing that, rather than attributing it all to the ineptitude of the opposition. 

  5. frank schoon replied, November 4, 2019 at 4:14 p.m.

    Kent, Bob's right, but don't let those 4 goals fool you for they weren't all that good and they were against ,I consider, bad teams and bad defense...Burnley is 14th  and Watford ,I think is last. Lets wait till he plays against top teams and not against teams that FL thinks aren't risky for Pulisic to start.

  6. Bob Ashpole, November 4, 2019 at 4:07 p.m.

    We are arguing about nothing. Yes it was poor defending. Yes it was an easy finish. Yes Pulisic made a smart run into the box to put himself in position for the easy finish.

    We all agree on the same points.

  7. Ginger Peeler, November 4, 2019 at 5:51 p.m.

    Kent, bless you for focusing on the positive side of Pulisic's game (right along with his coach's positive comments)!  I find that the competing "glass is almost empty"/"doom and gloom"/"the sky is falling" attitude wearing thin after awhile...and it's been over 2 years! So, you bring a much appreciated breath of fresh air! 

    Now that Santi is back, I'm expecting great comments to be fielded. Santi used to drive everybody nuts because he'd use initial caps throughout his comments. Then Frank showed up with his ALL CAPS hints and those of us who had been around for awhile were pleading with Frank to, at least, tone it down to initial caps. Then I went through Hurricane Irma. And, when I got back, Frank had finished his Tips and Santi was gone. I look forward to the different perspectives we will be choosing to express re: men's national team. 

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, November 4, 2019 at 8:49 p.m.

    GINGER; SANTI IS BACK.!!! Seeing as Frank is a Cruijff Worshipper, as am I, I can put up with his Long Rants on Tactical and Technical ramblings, cause I know that his Passion comes from a True Love of The Beautiful Game... Most embodied in the Clockwork Oranje of 72-78....As for Pulisic; He is a Man Without a Country... His Style is Tiki-Taka... Barca.(Yuck, cause I am Puro Madridista)... He is the ideal repalcement for Iniesta... But only ONE Team/Club/Country can play Tiki-Taka... BARCA y mi Querida Espana....USA will NEVER be Good enought to "Carry" Pulisic...So, He will Score Clever and Creative Goals, against Weaker long as he has Time and Space... The USA and Chelsea will never be able to Carry him on a Big Game/Big Stage...I Hope to eat my Words one day, but he doesn't have the Character of say, a HAZARD or Xavi, to Drive a Team Forward... We will always see him as an Underachiever.... and it's not really his Fault.!!!

  9. Larry Chen, November 4, 2019 at 6:51 p.m.

    CP kinda reminds me of Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich. Let’s see if CP can equal the career of Muller.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, November 5, 2019 at 12:03 a.m.

    Larry, that was my same assessment as to a like player two years ago. I agree with Santi that he's isn't the type of player to carry a team, which is normally a central, play making mid. 

  11. Larry Chen, November 4, 2019 at 6:59 p.m.

  12. R2 Dad, November 5, 2019 at 12:55 a.m.

    What FL has not said is that CP doesn't make his best XI, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing in his first year. There will be plenty of games as long as Chelsea continues to progress through all the competitions. Someone always gets hurt. The question is, will that someone be CP?

  13. R2 Dad, November 5, 2019 at 1:12 a.m.

    In watching this video clip again, CP is happy because TA slots this ball into the top of the 6 in much the same way CP and MB would score in Germany. This is a Dortmund-type goal. CP needs these goals to build his confidence, especially if he is going to play CL matches through March. Yeah, the defense fell asleep because they were ball-watching and expected a lofted cross. Much-needed goal, well-taken!

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