Christian Pulisic's Champions League adventure with Chelsea continues after taking a beating

Chelsea lost and Christian Pulisic did not score, but the American had one his most impactful games of the 2020-21 season.

Porto beat Chelsea, 1-0, on a stoppage-time goal, but it was not enough to reverse a 2-0 Chelsea advantage from the first leg a week earlier.

The result sends Pulisic for the first time to the semifinals, where he will be joined by a second American, either Zack Steffen or Gio Reyna. (Steffen's Manchester City takes a 2-1 lead over Reyna's Borussia Dortmund into Wednesday's second leg in Germany.)

The eye-popping stat of Tuesday's game: the 11 fouls Pulisic suffered, the most in a Champions League game since Real Madrid fouled Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the 2011 semifinals.

It was the second straight game Pulisic played 90 minutes -- he scored twice in the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday -- and it comes only 10 days after he was subbed at halftime of the 5-2 loss to West Bromwich, fearing another hamstring injury.

“We accepted what was needed was a tough, tough fight," said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel in his post-game television interview. "Maybe on the television it was not so nice to watch but on the sidelines it was a very intense game, a very fast game. We accepted what was needed tonight, and I think we deserved to go through."

13 comments about "Christian Pulisic's Champions League adventure with Chelsea continues after taking a beating".
  1. Joseph Pratt, April 14, 2021 at 8:48 a.m.

    Referees can control this nonsense by taking a minute to tell the opposing manager that the next foul on the player (Pulisic in this case) brings a yellow card, and the next one after that will earn a straight red. Or even skip the yellow and just go the straight red route. 

  2. Beau Dure replied, April 14, 2021 at 11:16 a.m.

    Indeed, persistent infringement doesn't have to be committed by the same person. If four different people foul Pulisic, warn the team, and then whoever fouls him next sees yello.

  3. R2 Dad replied, April 14, 2021 at 1:48 p.m.

    C'mon guys! You know there isn't a FIFA-rated referee alive who would issue a yellow card for persistent infringement. It never happens. It never will happen. Might as well strike it from the LOTG. I would love to hear what Collina has to say about this.

  4. beautiful game replied, April 14, 2021 at 2:21 p.m.

    Referees take their orders from the top dog who answers to no one. 

  5. stan kull, April 14, 2021 at 10:07 a.m.

    Porto committed 20 fouls and 11 were against Pulisic.  Porto players took turns hacking him down. The ref should have stopped the nonsense.

  6. Billy Logan, April 14, 2021 at 11:16 a.m.

    Porto vs Pulisic UCL 2021 - "took turns hacking him down" - Portugal vs Pele - WC '66

  7. Ben Myers, April 14, 2021 at 12:39 p.m.

    Sheesh! The referee does not know about persistent infringement in LOTG?

  8. Del_Cat_6 6, April 14, 2021 at 12:54 p.m.

    Chelsea doesn't play PSG next- it's RM/Liverpool 

  9. Peter Bechtold, April 14, 2021 at 1:48 p.m.

    The game was in Sevilla, not in London's Stamford Bridge. Did you not watch ? (:-)

  10. Seth Vieux, April 14, 2021 at 1:52 p.m.

    I was honestly proud to watch Pulisic take this game on his shoulders and endure the endless hacking. The ref should have shown 6 or 7 yellows on the day at least. Pulisic gave all of himself for his team yesterday. He pressed with more zeal than Havertz and Mount and his willingness to keep drawing fouls were crucial to Chelsea controlling the game comfortably as the seconds ticked away on dead balls over and over again. I wondered during the match what the records for fouls endured in a single UCL match might be; pretty awesome to see the last time a team felt the needs to persistently foul a single player in this manner was a young Messi!

  11. david caetano, April 14, 2021 at 8:16 p.m.

    Agree many fouls on one player is a tactic that goes against FairPlay and ability to win competing against opponent. Takes pleasure away from watching games and creative exciting players.

  12. James Madison, April 15, 2021 at 12:37 a.m.

    Regardless of the CR's rank, if I were the match assessor, my first question after the match would have been why did you not indicate by a finger count when the number of fouls on Pulisic reached as many as 5 that the next one would draw a caution and the next after that, if any, would draw a send-off.  Without a good answer, my assessment would have been such that the individual would be unlikely to receive a similar assignment in the future.

  13. Seth Vieux replied, April 15, 2021 at 2:16 p.m.

    Agreed, and at least from what the camera showed Tuchel did not raise the issue, which for all his qualities as a coach, he certainly should have at least by the 5th foul. The worst fould he endured of the day wasn't recorded either, as he was vicously waylaid just outside the attacking third as he played a delightful ball forward to Kante. I certainly don't blame the ref for giving a HUGE advantage, but that one, after he'd already blown the whistle at least 9-10 times for fouls on CP was meant to cause pain in a fullspeed head on collision that wouldn't have surprised a bit if caused a real injury. If he can't even circle back to that after Chelsea failed to convert (a poor first touch from Mount on an imperfect pass from Kante IIRC).... this ref had lost control of the game 15 minutes in.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications