News Live Scores
Chelsea

Dazzling Pulisic lights up Super Cup on full Chelsea debut

6:06 AM SGT 15/8/19
Christian Pulisic, Mohamed Salah
The American winger impressed on his first start as Frank Lampard’s men reacted well to Sunday’s embarrassing defeat

American soccer fans were left disappointed when Frank Lampard snubbed Christian Pulisic from his starting line-up for Sunday’s embarrassing 4-0 opening day defeat to Manchester United.

However, the youngster announced himself in style on Wednesday on his first start for Chelsea as he dazzled in a thrilling UEFA Super Cup clash against Liverpool.

The two sides played out an absorbing 2-2 draw in Istanbul – with Liverpool emerging victorious on penalties – and Pulisic proved that he is more than ready to star for the Blues.

A £58 million ($70m) signing from Borussia Dortmund, Pulisic showed he can cut it at the top level and that he was not merely signed for marketing reasons (there were record Premier League viewing figures from America during Sunday’s game).

His direct running and high-speed dribbling were a feature throughout his 74 minutes on the pitch, as he linked up well with fellow attackers Pedro and Olivier Giroud.

And it was Pulisic who assisted the first goal of the Frank Lampard era as he glided through midfield and released Giroud, who finished past Adrian with aplomb.

The American thought he had added a brilliant goal of his own soon after as he dribbled out of a tight space before burying the ball into the bottom corner. However, the strike was ruled out for offside.

The only Chelsea player who truly outshone Pulisic on the night was N’Golo Kante, who put in an indefatigable man-of-the-match performance in midfield on his return from injury.

Liverpool improved in the second half after the introduction of Roberto Firmino. Sadio Mane equalised just after the break and then put the Reds ahead early in extra time – both from Firmino assists.

But Chelsea showed they have plenty of spirit to force a penalty shoot-out. Substitute Tammy Abraham earned a penalty in the 100th minute, which was coolly dispatched by Jorginho.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, they lost 5-4 in the shootout lottery – with Abraham missing the decisive kick – but Lampard will be pleased with the performance and reaction of his side in Istanbul.

He will also be pleased that – unlike against Man Utd where they collapsed in the second half – they managed to maintain their high levels for the full 120 minutes.

A number of players who were heavily criticised on Sunday – such as Kurt Zouma, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro – went some way to answering their doubters.

Chelsea gave as good as they got against the champions of Europe, and while they will be disappointed at not lifting the one trophy missing from Roman Abramovich's cabinet, there are plenty of reasons for fans to be positive.

And the most positive reason of all is the prospect of seeing Pulisic on a regular basis after his wonderful performance on Wednesday.