Christian Pulisic returns for Chelsea in win over Dortmund

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Chelsea FC and Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Chelsea FC and Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge on March 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic played in his first game for Chelsea since January 5 as they defeated his former club Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. 

Christian Pulisic came on in the 81st minute replacing Mateo Kovacic. He displayed some good touches and skipped past a few Dortmund players but was then knocked over by fellow American Gio Reyna.

Ultimately, Pulisic helped his side to a 2-0 win on the night. They are now through to the quarter-finals of the competition with a 2-1 victory on aggregate.

Pulisic may well have left the Blues in January but for his injury. There has been much speculation that he will leave the club in the summer. However, this game showed that he is still an option for Graham Potter.

The Chelsea manager is under a lot of pressure despite this victory. His side is currently 10th in the Premier League and their only real hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season is by winning it. Which the club has done twice in its history.

If Pulisic has a strong end to the season and helps the team get back to his best, then he may end up staying at Stamford Bridge. The USMNT man could help the club turn their season around.

Chelsea performed an admirable comeback

Chelsea had been trailing the tie 1-0 due to Karim Adeyemi’s goal in the first leg. Kai Havertz hit the post early on but Raheem Sterling leveled the aggregate score just before halftime. Sterling initially had a miss-kick before firing into the net.

Just after the break, Havertz gave Chelsea the lead. His initial effort came back off the post. However, he was allowed to retake due to encroachment from the Dortmund players. He made no mistake the second time of asking.

Conor Gallagher thought he had sealed the victory but his goal was ruled out for offside. Chelsea held on for a big win over the Black and Yellow which eased the pressure on them and their manager, Potter, after a poor run of form.

How did Gio Reyna get on?

Like Pulisic, Reyna also started the game on the bench. Although, he did not have to wait long to get on the pitch as he replaced Julian Brandt after just five minutes.

Reyna had been left on the Bench by Edin Terzic in their last three Bundesliga matches but he still looked sharp tonight.

In this Dortmund team that is very fluid, he has the freedom to roam. He was getting in behind the Chelsea line and produced a good shot/cross but unfortunately, no teammates were there for a tap-in. The USMNT player also had a shot blocked after Chelsea took the lead.

Reyna played well on the night which is a good sign for the national team. He endured a difficult World Cup and everything involving his parents and Gregg Berhalter that came after it. Hopefully, he can turn a page from this with current USA interim manager Anthony Hudson also revealing that he has had positive talks with Reyna since.

Many fans may not have expected Reyna or Pulisic to have an impact on the game but they both played their part. The future looks good for USMNT players competing in Europe for now.