Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic made good on his first English Premier League start in two months in a big way Saturday.
The United States Men's National Team star scored his first hat trick for the Blues -- and his first in the Premier League -- against Burnley, setting the tone for Chelsea's 4-2 win at Turf Moor.
In the 21st minute, Pulisic capitalized on a Burnley giveaway in midfield, charging up the pitch and coolly finishing past goalkeeper Nick Pope at the far post with his left foot.
Pulisic struck on the counter-attack once more just before halftime, capitalizing on another Burnley miscue in their own half. The 21-year-old gathered the ball just in front of the halfway line, carrying it into the Burnley box and doubling Chelsea's lead with a deflected shot in the 45th minute.
The American star did not stop scoring in the second half. Pulisic, standing unmarked in Burnley's penalty area, climbed and headed a Chelsea cross past Pope to clinch his first Premier League hat trick.
PULISIC HATTRICK AHHHHH pic.twitter.com/UPNktW4pBp— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 26, 2019
Pulisic became only the second American to score three goals in a Premier League match, joining USMNT legend Clint Dempsey as the only players to do so. He also kept company with a Chelsea legend after scoring with his right foot, left foot and head.
2010 - Christian Pulisic is the first Chelsea player to score a 'perfect' Premier League hat-trick since Didier Drogba against Wigan in May 2010. Skilled. #BURCHE— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 26, 2019
Willian scored Chelsea's fourth two minutes after Pulisic's third, but the day belonged to the American.
Chelsea signed Pulisic in January for the highest-ever transfer fee for an American player, but playing time had been hard to come by after he joined the club this summer. Pulisic started for Chelsea on Saturday for the first time since a Sept. 25 Carabao Cup match. He had not started in the Premier League since Aug. 31, but the American played his back into starting consideration for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard with a string of strong performances off the bench. On Wednesday, Pulisic assisted on Michi Batshuyahi's 86th-minute winner against Ajax in the Champions League group-stage match.
The goal-scoring monkey now is off Pulisic's back, and Lampard could have a much harder time leaving Pulisic out of his starting XI moving forward. That surely will excite Chelsea supporters and USMNT fans looking for glimmers of hope during an otherwise dismal period.