The Blues captain thinks the American forward has become “a very important” player for the Premier League giants
Christian Pulisic has been lauded as “an amazing player” by Chelsea team-mate Cesar Azpilicueta, with the USMNT star called “a very important player” at Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old justified that billing in his most recent outing with a priceless away goal in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash with Real Madrid.
Pulisic held his nerve against Los Blancos to produce a composed finish, with form and fitness returning for the American forward who has rediscovered his spark in what has been a testing campaign at times.
What has been said?
Chelsea captain Azpilicueta told the club’s official website of Pulisic: “It was a great finish from Christian and he showed great composure when he was in front of the goal. He took the best decision when he was on the ball and when he is off the ball, he makes intelligent runs which are hard to defend against.
“He is an amazing player. He came here from another country, he is growing and improving with every game and I’m very pleased for him to get his goal because he is a very important player for the team.”
The bigger picture
Pulisic’s effort against Real means that Chelsea head back to Stamford Bridge boasting a slight advantage.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have their sights set on another major final, having already booked a place in the FA Cup showpiece, while a top-four finish is being chased down in the Premier League.
Azpilicueta is eager the Blues avoid getting ahead of themselves in a run-in that promises plenty, with the Spaniard talking up the need to take things one game at a time.
He added: “I don’t see it as an advantage [against Madrid], it’s important to score an away goal but we know that on Wednesday it’s going to be a different game.
“We have to be at our best from the beginning because it’s going to be another really tough game. We wanted to win the first leg because of the way we started the game, but we couldn’t do it but in the end because we didn’t quite get that last pass or that final decision right.
“Overall I think it is a good result but now we must recover ahead of an important game on Saturday in the Premier League and then we will focus on the second leg. We will be ready.”