With one goal, Christian Pulisic made a ton of history and kickstarted his own hype machine.
Pulisic took Real Madrid's defenders to school and scored Chelsea's goal in a 1-1 Champions League semifinal first leg draw. In the process, he became the first American men's player to score in the Champions League semifinals.
He's also, per TruMedia stats whiz Paul Carr, the first U.S. men's international with multiple Champions League knockout stage goals, the first to score against Real Madrid in any competition, and the country's all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, with his five goals surpassing Sacha Kljestan's four.
Watch Pulisic systematically deconstruct Real Madrid with a flurry of touches and a precise finish (via CBS Sports):
Questions about Pulisic's ability have been largely extinguished by his play, especially last summer when the Premier League resumed following the coronavirus hiatus. The 22-year-old's problem has been his health, having recently returned from yet another injury spell. When he's fit, he's one of Chelsea's most effective players, plain and simple.
Pulisic was substituted off by manager Thomas Tuchel at the hour mark for Hakim Ziyech as part of a triple change.
Karim Benzema equalized in the first half for Real Madrid with a spectacular settle touch and finish:
The second semifinal leg will be played next Wednesday, May 5, in London. The winner will meet either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29.
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