In the 61st minute, he left four Liverpool players in the dust -- one of them on the ground -- en route to assisting on Tammy Abraham's goal.
In the 73rd minute, Pulisic controlled Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross with his chest, took two touches while turning -- made futile the defending efforts of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez -- and slammed a half-volley past goalkeeper Alisson.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp -- who after the game would be celebrating the Reds' league championship regardless of the outcome -- couldn't help but smile. It had been Klopp, while Borussia Dortmund coach, who invited a 16-year-old Pulisic into first-team practices. That paved the way to the American's Bundesliga debut at age 17, under Coach Thomas Tuchel, who succeeded Klopp when he left for Liverpool.
Klopp's quest to lure Pulisic to Liverpool failed as Chelsea paid the extraordinary transfer fee of $73 million to Dortmund.
Pulisic's feats on Wednesday weren't enough to secure Chelsea a Champions League spot. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it 5-3 Liverpool in the 84th minute, and that's how it stayed.
Standings (Top 10)
1. Liverpool 96 pts.
2. Manchester City 78
3. Manchester Utd. 63
4. Chelsea 63
5. Leicester City 62
6. Wolves 59
7. Tottenham 58
8. Sheffield United 54
9. Burnley 54
10. Arsenal 53
But win or tie with Wolves -- or Manchester United win over Leicester City -- on Sunday will be enough to achieve that lucrative and prestigious Champions League spot. It was the importance of the season's last two games -- and the FA Cup final -- that kept Pulisic on the bench at kickoff against Liverpool -- and in Sunday's 3-1 FA Cup semifinal win over Manchester United.
"He had a small injury in his thigh that kept him out against Manchester United," Chelsea coach Frank Lampard said. "Today I felt it was a risk to play him for 90 minutes given we have two huge games coming up.
"When he came on, he looked great so I’m really pleased with that in terms of his individual performance. Since the restart when he’s been fit and firing, he’s looked some player. So as I say disappointed I haven’t been able to start him in the last two games, but we’ve got them coming up."
Pulisic had scored three goals and assisted once in the previous seven league games before sitting out the FA Cup semifinal with the thigh injury.
“We were very close, we got it within one goal and the momentum was really changing,” Pulisic said in a Sky Sport postgame interview. “I thought we had them but obviously it is just that one counterattack and it changed real quick. We weren’t quite there. In the second half the subs coming in and making a difference and getting a quick goal, that changes things. You could see they were on the back foot for a while but they withstood our pressure. We were very close.
"We needed the result today,
unfortunately we couldn’t get it, but luckily it is still in our hands and we have one more game to go. We go next game and we win and we qualify for Champions League and that’s the