We’re So Happy To See Pulisic Back That We’ll Give Him A Mulligan For This Missed Chance Vs. Malmö
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Christian Pulisic is back. The American featured in about 20 minutes of Chelsea’s 1-0 Champions League victory against Malmö on Tuesday.
Pulisic was included in a Chelsea lineup for the first time since the Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Aug. 14. While he might have spent the majority of the night on the bench, it’s the most action for him since his ankle injury against Honduras in September.
In the final seconds of the game Pulisic was unable to convert a one-on-one opportunity against Malmö’s goalkeeper. A look at the replay suggested he might have been offside to begin with.
Christian Pulisic got close pic.twitter.com/4YxvidBGLd
Chelsea was lacking in the attacking department Tuesday night with Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Mason Mount all unavailable through injury or illness. Despite the lack of firepower, Chelsea found the game’s opening goal in the 56th minute courtesy of a beautiful pass from Callum Hudson-Odoi.
THE FLICK 1-2 AND ASSIST BY CALLUM HUDSON-ODOI pic.twitter.com/MgjPVpQuEq
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, perhaps not satisfied with the 1-0 score line, decided to make some changes in the 74th minute. Tuchel decided that the best fix for Chelsea’s lack of attack was the kid from Pennsylvania (and Ross Barkley).
️ CHRISTIAN PULISIC IS BACK pic.twitter.com/ICkhj1rhry
Pulisic immediately got involved and found himself with two half-chances in Malmö’s penalty area within three minutes of coming on. He had not played in a real game with his club teammates for 80 days and still looked sharp for Chelsea.
I’m not sure if it was Pulisic’s cleats or the American being physical, but he ended up on the Malmö grass at least five times. Pulisic was almost like a puppy learning to run as he kept falling over. USMNT were still ecstatic to see the return of Captain America.
Will Pulisic Play For The USMNT In The Upcoming Qualifiers?
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has a massive decision to make on whether to include Pulisic for the upcoming games against Mexico and Jamaica. Were the 19 minutes against Malmö enough to convince Berhalter that Pulisic is 100 percent?
Pulisic could have another chance to feature in a Chelsea game against Burnley on Saturday in the Premier League, however that is the same weekend the USMNT roster will be announced.
Does Berhalter take the risk of flying Pulisic thousands of miles for two high-intensity games against Mexico (Nov. 12) and Jamaica (Nov. 16) and then a quick trip across the pond for an EPL clash with Leicester City on Nov. 20?
Pulisic is one of the most talented Americans to ever play the sport. You would want him to play, especially against your biggest rival in World Cup qualifying. This journalist here thinks Berhalter should take the risk and bring Pulisic in for the next qualifying window.