Soccer

Soccer

After a strong midweek performance in the Champions League, Christian Pulisic returned to Chelsea's starting lineup Saturday. 

The United States Men's National Team star started in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi against Burnley at Turf Moor, making his first league start for the Blues in nearly two months. 

Pulisic, 21, last started for Chelsea in any competition on Sept. 25 in a 7-1 win over League Two side Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard last started Pulisic on Aug. 31 against Sheffield United, but Pulisic's impact off the bench in the Champions League appears to have swayed Lampard. 

Chelsea beat Ajax 1-0 in Amsterdam on Wednesday, and Pulisic assisted Michy Batshuyahi's 86th-minute winner at Johan Cruyff Arena. In six appearances this season, Pulisic has four assists, tying with Hudson-Odoi for the Chelsea lead. 

"The way he's played, he deserves a starting place regularly in the last few weeks, but so do others and that's what I keep saying is the nice problem that I have," Lampard told reporters Friday (H/T Sky Sports). "But it's brilliant that he's coming on and making the impact that he's making and of course he'll get his starts, that's the reason he's come here. ... So [all of Chelsea's attackers are] good options for me, and Christian is getting stronger and he's getting more in the group. With players that come here and some of them you have to give them a bit of time, particularly young players, but he's playing well, so he's certainly in strong contention."

 

With a win at Turf Moor, Chelsea can keep pace with third-place Leicester City in the race for Champions League qualification. The Blues would sit fourth based on goal difference following the Foxes' 9-0 shellacking of Southampton on Friday night.