Christian Pulisic Watch: How did USMNT star play for Chelsea vs Everton?
Christian Pulisic, now healthy, drew his first Premier League start since New Year’s Day when he joined the Chelsea XI for Saturday’s match with pink-clad Everton, going 62 minutes for the Blues.
A knee injury kept him out of a Premier League lineup from Jan. 12 to March 11, when he made a cameo off the bench against Leicester City.
Those 17 minutes came after six against old club Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League tie.
Pulisic made some waves this week when he seemed to endorse the USMNT return of head coach Gregg Berhalter, calling actions taken against the former boss by Giovanni Reyna’s family “extremely childish” and “youth soccer.”
Below is our minute-by-minute analysis of Christian Pulisic after his display for Chelsea against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Christian Pulisic Watch, live: Minute-by-minute focus on USMNT star vs Everton
3rd minute: Pulisic fizzes a cross toward goal but Kai Havertz can’t get his head on it as Chelsea has almost immediately claimed territory in the Everton end.
10th minute: A Reece James cross is just a bit too high for the Pulisic, as the diminutive leaper finds himself looking to make the most of dangerous service.
16th minute: Pulisic drops deep to get an incisive pass from Mateo Kovacic, turning and dribbling through the center to lay off to Ben Chilwell, but the move dies soon afterward.
26th minute: The American is cut down by Idrissa Gana Gueye in a nasty sliding challenge, and stays down for a minute as he helped Chelsea keep possession. Gana Gueye will get booked at the next whistle.
28th minute: Pulisic has the ball in a half-space and gets it to Joao Felix in the same spot, but the Atleti loanee’s bright dart into the box is cut out by the Toffees.
31st minute: The USMNT winger scoops a little pass into traffic that Havertz does well to get his foot to, but the flag is up.
35th minute: Pulisic is part of a tic-tac-toe break right to left that ends up with a Ben Chilwell cross over the field and without receiver.
36th minute: The American takes a Demarai Gray in the face (Rob Riggle voice) and needs some care from the trainers. It’s very surprising that he’s given the all-clear and how he looks the rest of the way will be under scrutiny.
45'+3: Pulisic lofts a cross toward the back post but it arrives a bit too quickly for two men screaming toward the target.
HALFTIME: The oft-fouled Pulisic is credited with a created chance, 27 touches, two passes into the final third, a block, and two recoveries. The stat sheet doesn’t show a full-merit Gray free kick to the Puli-face. The match is 0-0.
51st minute: Progresses the ball down the flank, followed by three Toffees. Drops the ball back Chilwell and the attack flips to the right side.
54th minute: GOAL, JOAO FELIX! Pulisic is running toward the far post to meet a Chilwell cross, but it’s blocked and winds up at the feet of Felix. A low drive through traffic kisses the far post and rolls over the line for 1-0.
56th minute: GOAL! But offside! Pulisic spins a tremendous shot past Jordan Pickford from distance, but Joao Felix was offside on the initial ball.
60th minute: Pulisic leaps but cannot control a wayward ball near the halfway line. Chelsea still leads 1-0 at the hour mark.
63rd minute: Subs off -- That’s it for Pulisic. A very “off the ball” day for the American but Graham Potter will likely have noted that his runs created a lot of room including on Felix’s goal.