Christian Pulisic shines in Chelsea’s win over Palace

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Christian Pulisic’s run of fantastic form continues.

The U.S. international scored for a third time since the Premier League’s restart, burning Crystal Palace for Chelsea’s second goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Selhurst Park.

Pulisic, who also scored in November against Crystal Palace, tallied his ninth goal of the season in all competitions in fine fashion. Stationed on the left side, he went at his defender, who perhaps expected him to cut centrally. He instead stayed wide, taking a clever touch before firing a left-footed shot into the upper left-hand corner to double Chelsea’s advantage.

It was made even more important considering Wilfried Zaha pulled one back for Palace on a sensational strike from long range seven minutes later.

Pulisic has drawn rave reviews for his play since the restart, from manager Frank Lampard and his teammates. 

Lampard continued with his plaudits after Tuesday’s match, saying:

“[He’s] hugely important, because he’s got great talent, we know that. … He’s started to play really well for us, and now he’s moved his game on another level not just in how he’s going by people but real end product. Look around at the top attacking players in the world, they score goals, they score goals regularly to win games, and at the moment he’s doing that, so I’m delighted with him.”

Said Ross Barkley, after Chelsea’s weekend win vs. Watford:

“Since he came back he has been blazing. He has been scoring great goals in training and now he has been doing it in matches. He is such a difficult player to defend against, because he is so direct. He is also so confident. He is always ready to try and take a player on. He is a real problem for defenders.”

Between drawing penalties, scoring goals and keeping defenders on their heels, Pulisic has turned in consistent performances over this six game stretch, one commensurate with the $73 million fee Chelsea paid to pry him from Borussia Dortmund.

Tuesday’s win, sealed only after Crystal Palace hit the post in stoppage time, was big for Chelsea in its quest to finish in the top four. It provisionally put the club five points clear of fifth-place Manchester United, which plays next on Thursday at Aston Villa.

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