Christian Pulisic: “It was a bit frustrating in the end not to find it, but probably a fair result in the end.” (Special to FrontRowSoccer.com)
By Michael Lewis
After missing a great scoring opportunity in the seventh minute, Christian Pulisic figured he owed his Chelsea teammates.
And when another chance came at the end of the opening half, this time he did not miss.
The U.S. men’s national team standout struck from point-blank range to lift the Blue into a 2-2 tie with Liverpool only seconds into first-half injury time. The goal stood up as the team battled to an entertaining English Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“I needed to redeem myself a bit for missing a chance early on,” Pulisic told NBC Sports. “I was happy I took a really good first touch and put it away.”
Pulisic latched onto a pass from Kante N’Golo and fired a shot to the upper left far post out of the reach of goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher for the hosts’ second goal.
“Pully had a brilliant finish,” Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said.
As pretty as Pulisic’s goal was, midfielder Mateo Kovacic scored the goal of the match, which he volleyed home the ball into the upper right corner in the 43rd minute, which closed down the deficit to 2-1.
“It was unbelievable, obviously,” Pulisic said. “Probably the best goal he’s ever scored. It’s fantastic, amazing to watch.”
Things looked bleak for the hosts as Liverpool grabbed a 2-0 lead by the 26th minute before Chelsea pulled even just before the halftime whistle.
“They score two, but it felt like we were still in the game playing well,” Pulsiic said. “We kept with it. It felt like there were periods where they had a bit of the ball, a bit of pressure and then we did. So, it was kind of an exciting game for sure, one that we obviously wanted to win.”
All the goals were scored in the opening half.
“It feels like one of those games,” Pulisic said. “It was such an incredible first half to start. You always feel like especially after we got the momentum brought it back to two, you want to get that winner. So it was a bit frustrating in the end not to find it, but probably a fair result in the end.”
The result did neither side any good in their chase of first-place Manchester City (17-2-2, 53 points), which enjoys a 10-point lead over Chelsea (12-2-7, 43) and a 11-point margin over third-place Liverpool (12-2-6, 42). The Blues have dropped points in seven of their last 11 matches.