BURNLEY, United Kingdom (AFP) – Christian Pulisic hit a hat-trick to inspire Chelsea’s impressive 4-2 win at Burnley as the United States (US) winger enjoyed his Premier League breakthrough moment last Saturday night.
After going nine games without scoring for his new club, Pulisic tore Burnley to shreds at Turf Moor to notch the first treble of his career.
Pulisic had endured a slow start following his move from Borussia Dortmund as the heir to former Blues star Eden Hazard, but this virtuoso display suggested he could live up to the hype.
The GBP58 million signing, who spent the second half of last season with Dortmund after agreeing the Chelsea switch in January, had started only one match since the end of August and that was against Grimsby in the League Cup.
But Frank Lampard admitted this week the 21-year-old “deserved” a chance to start after he came off the bench to set up Michy Batshuayi’s winner against Ajax in the Champions League.
Pulisic replaced Callum Hudson-Odoi as Lampard made one change to the team that won in Amsterdam and he seized his chance, becoming the youngest Chelsea player to score a Premier League hat-trick.
Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil reduced the deficit for Burnley, but Chelsea are fourth in the league after a seventh successive win in all competitions.
Pulisic initially forgot to collect the match ball from the referee, saying of the hat-trick tradition, “I just didn’t think about it, but my teammates reminded me!
“It’s unreal. It’s obviously a very special day for me.”
Asked about his lack of opportunities until now, Pulisic added, “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far and I’m going to go on from there.”