After scoring in the first half of Chelsea’s 1-1 first-leg draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday,
Christian Pulisic became the first American men’s international to score in a Champions League semifinal.
Pulisic’s fifth goal in the Champions League moved him ahead of DaMarcus Beasley on the all-time United States men’s scoring list in Europe’s top competition.
On 14 minutes, Pulisic found himself alone in the penalty area and cut to his right,
beating Thibaut Courtois and firing between two defenders to put Chelsea ahead.
Later in the first half, Karim Benzema equalized for the hosts, giving both teams something to play for in the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said after the game that
Pulisic also has the distinction of becoming the first American international to score against Real Madrid in any competition.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta said, “It was a perfect finish, great composure.”
“He’s an incredible player, he’s young, and he’s still the and developing.”
I’m delighted with his goal because he’s a key member of the squad.”
Two women’s teams from the United States competed.
ulisic has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and Tuchel said earlier this month that he needed to relearn to trust his body after struggling
with nagging problems stemming from a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal last August.
Tuchel’s first game in charge was against Wolves on Jan. 27, but Pulisic did not make his Premier League debut until March 13.
The 22-year-old, on the other hand, has started six of Chelsea’s last eight matches in all competitions, and he said before the Madrid match:
“At the moment, I am very secure in my body and fitness level.
I’ve completed a number of games.
“I’ve never thought of myself as a player who is vulnerable to injuries or a risky player.