Christian Pulisic, who helps deliver Premier League title to Liverpool, 'can get better and better'

As he blossomed at Borussia Dortmund, Christian Pulisic was quickly tipped as a target of Liverpool, whose manager, Jurgen Klopp, had first brought him into the first team at Dortmund when he was 16.

Pulisic ended up in the Premier League at Chelsea, but he helped deliver Liverpool its first title since 1990 and the first since the formation of the Premier League in 1992, scoring a spectacular first goal in Chelsea's 2-1 win over Manchester City that clinched the Reds' championship.

Pulisic took advantage of confusion in the City backline to steal the ball in the Chelsea half, race away on a counterattack and calmly curl the ball past City keeper Ederson.

After Kevin De Bruyne equalized with a free kick and Raheem Sterling hit the post, Pulisic almost added a second goal but had his shot cleared off the line by defender Kyle Walker after beating Ederson.

With just five minutes to play, Brazilian Willian earned the penalty that he converted for the winner that gave Liverpool the title with seven games to play.

The goal was the second in two games for Pulisic since the Premier League restart. He had been out for two and a half months with an adductor injury before European soccer was shut down in March. After a poor start following his move from Dortmund, Pulisic was outstanding for the Blues in October and November.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reiterated that Pulisic's lack of a summer break in 2019 because of the Gold Cup had set him back.

“Christian came in last summer," Lampard said after the City game. "Lot of talk about it. He didn’t really get a break when he got in the team. He was playing really well and gets a really tough injury."

The Chelsea manager added that he always intended to start Pulisic against City, just the 13th start in 31 league games, after he came off the bench with the first goal in the 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa.

"I wanted to protect him a bit against Villa, see that he could make an impact," said Lampard. "He did that. I always planned to start him against Man City because I know what he can bring in these sort of games and he brought it. He did really well. He needs to keep working, he’s a young player but he’s got so much talent and he can get better and better.”

23 comments about "Christian Pulisic, who helps deliver Premier League title to Liverpool, 'can get better and better'".
  1. R2 Dad, June 26, 2020 at 12:49 a.m.

    Willian's run-up on the PK is Unsporting Behavior because he stops before striking the ball. Fight me.

  2. Michael Saunders replied, June 26, 2020 at 8:52 a.m.

    R2 Dad ... You are just wrong .... please watch again and compare with link ...   

  3. frank schoon replied, June 26, 2020 at 9:19 a.m.

    R2, I know you ref as well as Kent and James, and I'm not only  a ref but clueless on the rules of the game. I just play the game and let the ref do his thing. But I got to say one thing, I remember Pele making a penalty exactly like that, of course that was long ago, so I don't know if there is a rule on it now.

  4. Larry Chen replied, June 26, 2020 at 2:22 p.m.

    Are you a licensed ref?

  5. R2 Dad replied, June 26, 2020 at 4:19 p.m.

    I may be wrong because of the letter of the law, but what Willian does is very close to what is NOT allowed in the video link you provided. The game was played for over 100 years without allowing this sort of trickery--but it's OK now? I think any pausing or stopping should result in a rekick. No one's saying a card is necessary and an IDF the other way, but professionals should not be allowed to take a PK in this way. 

  6. Wooden Ships replied, June 26, 2020 at 10:36 p.m.

    Like a balk in baseball, changing the normal motion of a pitcher to gain an advantage. I agree R2, deceptive approaches I've never cared for. I always took mine the same, with a consistent, predictable moment when I strike the ball. 

  7. Oneil Perry, June 26, 2020 at 7:48 a.m.

    Just one correction: Willian only converted the penalty, he wasn't the one that earned it. Tammy Abraham forced Fernandino into the handball that resulted in the PK. 

  8. frank schoon, June 26, 2020 at 10:47 a.m.

    Guys, did you notice how Pulisic scored that goal. The golden rule is not to allow an opponent to employ his strength. Pulisic strenght is open field runs. The problem began with the black defender#22 making a terrible pass which should have gone to right flank far away from any opponent(Pulisic). The other defender made the mistake of putting of raising his arm and therefore should have taken charge and gone to the ball, which perhaps confused the other defender.

    But from what I can tell these two defenders are TERRIBLE. First of all neither one has a presence on the field. When you play for Man. City you better have a presence, a la Zlatan or a Beckenbauer. These two guys are 'Nervous Nellies".  Note these two defenders at midfield reminds me of the "3 Stooges" routine whereby as one opens the door for the other and beckons, 'you go, no you go" and end up both bumping into each other....

    Pulisic was lucky that #22 is left- footed and therefore couldn't tackle ,instead he  ran with Pulisic as if he was having tea. Pulisic made a smart, by slowing down allowing #22 to take a stab at the ball with his left and causing #22 to lean back which means he's beaten, he can't accelerate.

    Although these defenders were so bad they still could have prevented the goal if they knew how to work in tandem. In other words, #22 should have run diagonally to the point forcing Pulisic cut inward to his right thereby moving into the other defender's zone who could have slowed down or stopped the ball and /or Pulisic. Most defenders today don't practice this type of defense, and basically train everything in a 1v1 situation which a lower level type of defense

  9. Larry Chen replied, June 26, 2020 at 2:26 p.m.

    Pulisic still had a lot of work to do to earn that goal.

  10. frank schoon replied, June 26, 2020 at 2:44 p.m.

    Larry, the most work he had to do was run.The pass was a "gimmie' for which he had to do nothing. His defender who had no speed couldn't tackle him for he was left footed.  It was perfect storm that suited his ability perfectly. The goalie looked nice

  11. frank schoon replied, June 26, 2020 at 2:45 p.m.

    The goal looked, not the goalie

  12. humble 1 replied, June 26, 2020 at 6:21 p.m.

    Never defend on the front foot or 'stab' at the ball when there is not a defender to cover you. That's just trzash defense.  That's what #22 did wrong.  When Pulisic slowed down, he bit and slowed down too, should have carried on an gotten in front.  Meanwhile #8 was not sprinting to provide cover but running inline - incomprehensible.  Shoddy MLS like defense.  Having watched a lot of Pulisic, this is one of the things he he does well - change of pace - good on him.  Looking sharp and competitive.  

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, June 27, 2020 at 7:15 a.m.

    Pulisic- Continues in the Same Pattern ... Excellent Tecnique and Guile ... Smart and Crafty Player, without a "Heart" ... It is still my Contention that he Can Not Lead The USA to WC ... No Killer Instinct (is "Passion" the Word I am Looking for here.???) When The Going gets Tough, He Fades "Out" Of The Game ... Should have put that Game away, but Came up Short ... Compare him to Dempsey, Donovan or Ching ... "Killers" ... I compare him to Iniesta; But Iniesta has others to Feed him, USA has Nothing but Hard Work ethic to Compete with... and if the other 9 Field Players can "Carry Him" we can be Competitive ... But, I haven't seen 9 others that have the "Fight" in them; (They actually think they are "Too Good" to be Grunts) The Current US Crop of MilLEMMONingALL Players (Meh-Lemmon-Ning-Alls)

  14. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2020 at 8:58 a.m.

    Humble , Totally agree with you. Everything these 2 defenders did was WRONG. First of all they broke the GOLDEN RULE. If you outnumber the opponent, in this case, 2v1, then employ yoiur numerical superiority, which they didn't.  #22 by his field position towards Pulisic made his teammate underemployment ( term I learned in Econ. class in college,LOL). #22 should not have committed but forced Pulisic to cut, inside increasing the time factor for Pulisic attack, giving the other defender a chance to stop Pulisic; and thereby allowing time for #22 to adjust again....

    Santiago, I agree with what you say but highly disagree with you on comparing Pulisic to Iniesta. First of all , they are two highly different players. If anything, it would be Iniesta feeding the ball to Pulisic but not Vice Versa, because Pulisic neither has  the passing nor dribbling skill, in small spaces like Iniesta. Iniesta doesn't make runs but receives the ball to his feet to further creates an attack. Pulisic ,as we say in Dutch, is a running 'hare', he's not a creative player, or  a chess movement type of players like Iniesta. Iniesta can beat players frome a 'dead' on stance with  the ball. Besides Iniesta modeled his game after Brian Laudrup who he consider his 'hero' when he played for Barcelona. Laudrup was not a 'runner type' like Pulisic, his role was to beat a player creating a 2v1 situation and that is more what Iniesta does...

  15. Santiago 1314 replied, June 27, 2020 at 6:13 p.m.

    @Frank, I think we agree more on Pulisic/Iniesta/Laudrup than we Disagree ...  Teams need to use him like a Laudrup/Iniesta ... Withdrawn Forward on the Left ... Pulisic could not play on the same team with Iniesta, because they are so similar... He is actually more like Laudrup than Iniesta; More Muscle and Pace than Iniesta .. A lot more Skill than a "Hare", but not Iniesta Level ... But they accomplish the same Result for the team.. Pulisic Strength To a Team, is his ability to Break Down a Defense out wide, High on the Left, Then draw out Central Defenders like Laudrup did for Zambrano to become "Pichichi". But the Ball must be "Delivered" to him; Like Xavi did for Iniesta ... Having been in The Bernabéu and seen Laudrup Playing Both for Farca and REAL, I can say he was much better for Madrid(jajaja a little dig at you Farca Fans :)) 

  16. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2020 at 7:12 p.m.

    Santiago, I do disagree with you on Iniesta and Pulisic ,they are about similar as blood and water.  Everything Iniesta does is based on technique and savvyness and ball movement without little running in his game .  Pulisic is a player you send and that is why it would behooves to have Iniesta to play behind Pulisic for they can play together. Iniesta is a true midfielder, and Pulisic is more of a forward. And furthermore , note that Iniesta never loses the ball, whether in dribbling or in play for he positions himself perfectly. By Iniesta never losing the ball means Pulisic would rarely have run back on defense like he does now. Furthermore Iniesta draws usually one or two opponents around midfield towards him thereby giving Pulisic more time and space to make 1v1  runs downfield. Similarly Xavi gave Messi so many great balls. 

    Also Iniesta does not make runs down the flanks and cuts, for that is not his forte and he's not build for speed like Pulisic . That's why Pulisic was at Dortmunt for those Germans love to run....At Barcelona it is not about speed but speed of ball movement that has always been Barcelona's game and it runs counter to how Pulisic plays. Furthermore Pulisic does not draw out  the centerback for he tends to come into the penalty to attack for he lacks a good cross  with his left. 
    Pulisic's skill comes out better in open field play but not is packed small defenses or small spaces. You are either good in small spaces ,technically speaking, or in large but you can't be in both.  

  17. Santiago 1314 replied, June 27, 2020 at 10:22 p.m.

    Frank, i am talking about how Pulisic SHOULD be used, and the Type of player he is Capable of being... Not how his current Coaches are Mis-using him... He does NOT have the Deamnor to be a Rabbit down the Wing, Chasing Thru Balls... He likes the Ball to his Feet and then Take on Players... Like Iniesta and Laudrup... I thnk you underrate his Skill Abilities... 
    I think that is a Big Problem for Pulisic and USA team... They just keep "Sending Him".!!!

    While Iniesta is NOT the Blazer down the Wing, He nonetheless, Holds down that position on the Field.
    Sure he likes to Sneak Inside to Combine, but he is Primarily a "Stretch" player on the Outside.... If you want to Consider that a Midfielder, i guess you can. But to me a Midfielder plays from Box-to-Box... Iniesta does NOT do that.!!! ... And Iniesta does not Possess much of a Left Footed Cross either.

    I was advocating for Pulisic to go from Dortmund to Farca, to make that Jump to the Next Level of Player he can be... "The Heir to Iniesta" ... He is certainly Not a Real Madrid type Player and I think his Growth is Stunted at Chelsea... 

    And Cruijff was GOOD in both Small and Large Spaces... But, that is a Story for another Time.!!!

  18. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2020 at 11:27 p.m.

    Santiago, you look at midfielders as running box to box...That's too much running, for what ? Barcelona's midfield, had no runners, NONE. They were small and great technicians who controlled the ball, Iniesta, Busquets, Xavi. They weren't fighters ,they weren't runners and definitely couldn't win head duels. They moved the ball fast around midfield thus avoiding midfield duels. It was all about brains and skill and ball movement at midfield. Barcelona introduced a new midfield to the world employing small guys with great ball skills at a time when other teams used midfielders with power, size, high octane, box to box runners...all of which you don't need. Barcelona was all about ball movements and nothing is faster than ball movement, no matter how fast a player can run...

    You're right Iniesta does not have a left footed cross like Pulisic. But  Iniesta's role is not one of  crosses with his left from the left side .  You hardly ever saw Iniesta down the endline or going towards the endline for a cross . Barcelona is not known for having an air attack from crosses, especially when you a midget like Messi as a small Suarez. Crosses were never an overal attacking element of Barcelona's play. 

    Cruyff's strength was looking for space and time via positioning and that's why he was all over the field...In other words his strenght was in  large spaces, technically speaking. This is why he played also a false 9 . He would always drop back to find space and make sure he would always face downfield when receiving the ball and not with his back. Messi is good in small spaces and not in large spaces because of his built and he's good in the combination.

    Pulisic is an octane kind of guy which helps him fit in playing in England and Germany, like you say 'stunts his growth" . I much rather would have seen him play on a team that employs more brain work and skills. You mentioned Barca but that is way above his pay grade, but at least another Spanish team.

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, June 28, 2020 at 6:57 a.m.

    Yeah, it's Pretty Disgusting what $73 Million will Buy you Nowadays.!!! Catch you on the Next Thread.

  20. frank schoon replied, June 28, 2020 at 7:34 a.m.

    Santiago, LOL, money isn't what it's use to be. Can you imagine they signed Pele to a 6mil contract to play here...I remember when a 100 Thousand soumded like 100 mil today...

  21. Michael Saunders, June 26, 2020 at 1:22 p.m.

    The rule I believe was changed just before the WC 2010 ....    Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted, however, feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is now considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned.   

    In essence, making it illegal to swing over a ball in the act of kicking or stopping the act of kicking in order to send the keeper the wrong way ... 

  22. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2020 at 4:32 p.m.

    My recall is that stopping during the run up is also prohibited. The runup now doesn't have to be smooth or a steady pace, but stopping the run is not allowed.

  23. Oliver Scales Schmidt, June 26, 2020 at 6:31 p.m.

    What makes you guys think that left footed PL defenders cannot use either foot for (sliding) tackles?

    "... most work he had to do was run."  Let's not forget that he scored against Man City in a meaningful game. He is still a young player and may develop into the best US player ever thanks to stellar instruction and competition while at Dortmunt and now Chelsea.

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