Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel went with a more mobile front line against Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday, dropping Romelu Lukaku in favor of Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Zyiech. Chelsea got off to a fast start with Havertz finding the back of the net in the eighth minute. Pulisic, the American star, doubled that advantage in the second half en route to the Blues’ 2-0 victory in the round of 16 first leg.
Pulisic has struggled with injuries this season, becoming more of a rotational player for Chelsea. But he made the most of Tuesday’s start, getting his first Champions League goal since the semifinal vs. Real Madrid last season. It could go a long way to rebuilding his confidence.
Pulisic had a good first half that saw him creating strong chances on the dribble but he didn’t have much to show for it. That changed in the 63rd minute as Chelsea asserted their dominance. The run from N’Golo Kante was mesmerizing and Pulisic’s finish was next level to cap off a spectacular goal for Chelsea. Take a look:
Pulisic also got to break out the “Griddy” in celebration after the goal. “I don’t claim to be a dancer at all,” he told CBS Sports after the game.
The goal was Pulisic’s fourth in all competitions for Chelsea this season. With the EFL Cup final vs. Liverpool coming up Sunday, Pulisic might have played himself into the starting lineup for that match too.
It wasn’t all good news for the USMNT on Tuesday, however. American star Weston McKennie was injured in Juventus’ Champions League draw vs. Villarreal. The ¡Que Golazo! crew reacted to Pulisic’s goal and McKennie’s injury on their latest episode. Listen below.
Pulisic was removed from the match shortly after scoring his goal, and received an ovation from the home crowd at Stamford Bridge.
You can catch Pulisic and Chelsea in the Champions League exclusively on Paramount+.