Chelsea manager Frank Lampard heaped praise on in-form forward Christian Pulisic after the Blues star scored again in Tuesday's five-goal Premier League thriller against Crystal Palace. Pulisic netted his eighth league goal of the season from just 16 starts and third since the season restart following the coronavirus-enforced break as the Blues edged Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park.
Chelsea edge past Palace
After Olivier Giroud's sixth-minute opener, Pulisic doubled the lead approaching the half-hour mark before Palace star Wilfried Zaha reduced the deficit heading into the interval. But Tammy Abraham's 71st-minute strike ensured Chelsea climbed above Leicester City into third position, despite Christian Benteke's late strike.
Lampard was full of praise for United States international Pulisic – who arrived from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund at the start of the season – afterwards amid comparisons to former Blues star Eden Hazard.
"I didn't put any limits on [Christian Pulisic]. I knew the talent he had and I wanted to help him when he first got here because this is a physical league, I think the best league because of the physical nature of it," Lampard told reporters. "He came in and he'd had no break, so we had to be careful. I tried to manage the beginning and he came in and played great for us. Unfortunately he had an injury, quite a bad injury. But the hunger he has, the quality that he's showing and the end product, which is the main thing for me. Top players in the world in his area, attacking players, do score goals. They win games, they make a difference, they assist. And in the restart he's been fantastic."
Jorginho was once again on the bench for Chelsea, with Lampard preferring Billy Gilmour in the absence of injured midfielder N'Golo Kanté. Italy international Jorginho, who has been previously linked with Juventus, had not made an appearance since the 2019-20 campaign resumed until replacing Gilmour in the 80th minute on Tuesday.
On the fringes at Stamford Bridge, Lampard said of Gilmour's selection ahead of Jorginho: "I thought Billy did pretty well. I wasn’t overly delighted with our midfield today. I think considering how they have played in recent games and how slickly we have moved the ball in recent games and rotation, I thought we held onto it a bit long today. The reason I played Billy is a choice. The two games Billy played before lockdown against Liverpool, probably the best team in the world, and Everton were fantastic."