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August 11, 2019

Christian Pulisic Doesn’t Start, But Still Makes Premier League Debut for Chelsea

High Press 10 August 11, 2019

Christian Pulisic did not start for Chelsea’s Premier League opening day match against Manchester United.

To be fair, neither did Chelsea’s best player, N’Golo Kante.

Pulisic was subbed in early in the second half, entering the match in the 58th minute for Ross Barkley.

How’d Pulisic do?

While it certainly wasn’t his fault, Chelsea got ran over as soon as Pulisic entered the game.

When Pulisic entered, Manchester United was holding onto a 1-0 lead. Less than 10 minutes later, the score was 3-0. It extended to 4-0 less than 25 minutes into his debut.

Pulisic earned a free kick within minutes of entering, but did see much of the ball after that.

In the 93rd, he drove into the box by was way off on a cross to capitalize. He rebounded quickly from there, finding Emerson Palmieri in the box, who rocketed a shot saved by David de Gea, for a near assist.

In the end, it was a debut Pulisic and Chelsea would like to soon forget, falling 4-0 at the final whistle. Paul Pogba showed an act of class at the end though, bringing Pulisic under his arm for some words of encouragement.

Manchester United Player Ratings vs Chelsea – Matchday 1

August 11, 2019

The marquee match-up of Premier League matchday 1 saw Chelsea visit Old Trafford and Manchester United

In a really end-to-end game, United took the lead in the 18th minute after Marcus Rashford’s cool penalty.  Chelsea struck the post twice in the first half to frustrate new coach Frank Lampard.

Hoever, United shifted gears in the second half, scoring three goals to blow the visitors away and get their season underway with swagger. Yes there still are some improvements to be made and bit more decisiveness to be improved upon, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must love what he’s seeing.

Manchester United Player Ratings

Manager

Ole Gunnar Golskjaer (7.5) –

Took a risk by playing a defensively shaky midfield trio, but ultimately received his rewards with Pogba and Pereira both assisting goals. Integrated a similar blazing counter-attack style which will be loved by fans everywhere. However, he still needs to work on improving his defense ahead of more difficult ties ahead. Must’ve been frustrated with some sloppiness in their game and needs to get that out of his team’s game.

Goalkeeper

David de Gea (7.5) –

Lucky to see Abraham’s powerful attempt hit the post in the 4th minute. Made a strong save to deny Mount in the 12th. Backed it up with another stunning left-foot one in the 28th.

Thumped away a bullet from Emerson in the 55th minute to keep saving United’s graces. Continued his fine day a solid diving save to deny Mount in the 85th and Emerson in the stoppage time to keep his first home clean-sheet for god knows such a long time!.  Big Ol’ Dave seems to be back in business!

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.0) –

He’s already looking a major upgrade over Young! Rarely allowed anyone to go past and made some smart tackles early on. Impenetrable despite constant attempts from Emerson. Showed some showboat skills going forward. Lucky to see Emerson’s shot hit the post in the 40th minute after being caught out of possession.

He also kept Christian Pulisic at bay after he came on later in the second-half. A solid debut for the youngster to keep a clean-sheet in his league debut for United.  

Harry Maguire (6.5) –

The record signing displayed some signs of nerves early on. However, grew into the game and made some good clearances before the half-hour mark. Found himself in possession inside the Chelsea area early on, but couldn’t conjure an assist.

Made thumping clearances with that big head of his in the second half which had the fans all delighted. My guess is he’s going to get even more popular as he adapts to his new home.

Victor Lindelof (7.0)-

The Swede looked very comfortable in possession. Got the ball forward with confidence. Sloppy for allowing Abraham a shot on goal in the 4th minute.

However, he picked up his game afterwards. Bullied Abraham after finding his feet and made many crucial challenges to protect his side’s lead. Outperformed Maguire on his big day.

Luke Shaw (6.0) – The player which Chelsea seemed to have targeted early on. Caught out of possession in the early minutes only encouraged their chances. Picked up another knock and was limping for sometime, but looks fine thankfully for OGS and co.

Midfielders

Paul Pogba (7.5) –

Continued spraying passes forward to forcer the issue. Bit guilty to losing possession occasionally early on. He did make some promising forward movement in the first half, but best he did was hit a weak header into Kepa’s hands.

Continued spraying passes forward to forcer the issue. Showcased his class in the 67th minute with a world-class assist for Rashford’s second and later teeing up James’ strike. He’s staying and expect him to do the damage this time as well.

Scott McTominay (6.5) –

Cut the most energetic figure in the United side and Refused to be bullied by Chelsea in the second half and showcased a fiery spirit. Recovered possession and put he ball forward resulting in the 4th goal.

Andreas Pereira (6.5) –

Pereira was somewhat frustrating as the playmaker, but did well to pick out a peach pass to assist Martial’s strike.

Forwards

Marcus Rashford (8.0) – 

Tried being too tricky in the first fifteen minutes only to frustrate the faithful. Won a penalty immediately after. Scored it with conviction as well to get his season underway in style.

Impressively moved past Chelsea’s whole defence to put the embarrassment marks on Chelsea with his emphatic second goal. Made Old Trafford back singing his name!  

Jesse Lingard(5.5) –

Lingard cut an isolated figure on the right and lacked the driving factor after moving centrally. However he did assist Rashford’s penalty. Often dispossesed in the first half leading to some chances for Chelsea.

Booked for a silly challenge in the 48th minute. However, sorta made up by getting Jorginho booked minutes later. Showcased a good amount of energy late into the game, but needs to improve his clinical nature going up front.

Anthony Martial (7.0)

AM9 was gifted an opportunity at goal in the 7th minute which was struck straight at Kepa. Made a stunning forward pass which fooled Chelsea into losing their shape and conceding a penalty. Often moved into the left-wing but his final delivery and decision making was woeful to say the least.

Proved why OGS gave him the #9 shirt with a clever finish inside Kepa’s legs to get his season underway and give United a comfortable cushion.

Substitutions

Daniel James (7.0) –

James came on for Pereira and already seemed a touch better since coming on. Got his dream debut moment when Pogba found him and he(thanks to Emerson’s deflection) got his first United goal in front of the Stretford End. Welcome to the Theatre of Dreams!

Juan Mata (N/A) –

Did nothing noteworthy after coming on against his former side.

Mason Greenwood(N/A)

The 17-year-old came on with only minutes to spare, but had a thunderous attempt be blocked off by Chelsea’s defence after coming on.

MAN OF THE MATCH

 Marcus Rashford might’ve been frustrating whilst finding his feet early in the game, but made no mistake when handed chances in the final third. Let’s just hope he can continue his goal-scoring run for a considerable period of time.  

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