Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

Christian Pulisic 'moves game to another level' after latest star turn for Chelsea

Frank Lampard full of praise for 'talented' American after Blues clinch 3-2 win at Crystal Palace

Christian Pulisic has "moved his game on to another level", said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, after the American winger scored in the nail-biting 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

Pulisic arrived at Chelsea at the start of the season having completed a €64 million (Dh265m) from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019.

Given the price tag and his burgeoning reputation, expectations were high, particularly as Pulisic was signed as a replacement for Eden Hazard, who moved to Real Madrid after establishing himself as Chelsea's star player.

Injuries had limited Pulisic's impact this season, but the 21-year-old has still managed eight Premier League goals, including three in his last five games. The latest was a superb strike against Palace to help his side seal a valuable three points in the race for the top four.

Asked how important Pulisic is becoming to his team, Lampard told Sky Sports: "Hugely important. He has great talent, we know that. He came here at the start of the season in difficult conditions ... hadn't really had a break.

"But he started to play really well for us and now he has moved his game on to another level, not just how he is going by people but real end product.

"The top attacking players in the world score goals and score goals regularly that win games ... at the moment he is doing that so I'm delighted with him."

Pulisic's fine form has raised expectations that he can reach the same level as former talisman Hazard.

"I didn't put any limits on him so he's not surprised me," Lampard said. "I knew the talent he had and I wanted to help him when he first got here because of the physical nature of the league. I had to manage him and then unfortunately he had a bad injury.

"But the hunger that he has, the quality that he's showing, and the end product has been the most pleasing aspect. Since the restart, he's been fantastic."

Third-placed Chelsea travel to Sheffield United on Saturday. The Blues hold a five-point lead over Manchester United in fifth in the battle for the Champions League places, although the Old Trafford club can reduce that gap to two points if they beat Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Updated: July 8, 2020 11:07 AM

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