Three things we learned from Chelsea – Real Madrid; Pulisic Watch

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·4 min read
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Timo Werner’s 28th-minute goal was Chelsea route past a starring Thibaut Courtois until Christian Pulisic set up Mason Mount late in a 2-0 UEFA Champions League second leg defeat of Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, sending the Blues past Real 3-1 on aggregate.

Edouard Mendy made a sensational stop on Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s rejuvenated defense let few chances find their way to the tournament’s all-time winners, with Pulisic’s calm on the touchline producing a fine insurance goal from Mount.

[ MORE: Man City oust PSG to reach Champions League final ]

Pulisic scored in the first leg’s 1-1 draw, and was a second-half sub to salt away this one (See Pulisic Watch below).

Chelsea now will meet Premier League rivals Manchester City on May 29 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Three things we learned from Chelsea – Man City

1. All aboard the Tuchel train: It’s challenging to author a more impressive two years in the Champions League than Thomas Tuchel’s consecutive trips to the final, especially considering the German manager is only in his first 100 days on the job at Chelsea. Real Madrid has only been held to a goal over two legs of a UEFA Champions League tie twice this century, once bowing out to Lyon and another time outlasting Atletico Madrid 1-0. The team’s understanding of his system has only grown, and it’s worth noting that Tuchel did have the benefit of simply selecting two under- or unused all-world defenders in Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger (Thanks, FL).

2. Werner keeps chugging: German forward Timo Werner’s time under the microscope at Stamford Bridge reveals less goals than expected of a dominant player with a high price tag, but he keeps working and trusting that his elite form will return, as evidence by his rushing to the doorstep to finish a one-yard (or less) rebound of Kai Havertz’s chip off the crossbar.

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3. Cool, calm, collected Christian: Pulisic’s entry into the game eventually delivered an assist that matched the cool shown by the USMNT star in scoring a goal in the first leg.

Man of the Match: Edouard Mendy

Thibaut Courtois did what he needed to do to flummox his former team, making a series of saves as Kai Havertz and N’Golo Kante couldn’t put the game away with a second goal that would demand two from Real, but it’s worth noting Edouard Mendy’s sensational stop on Karim Benzema. Five saves including a tremendous, fully-extended stop on Benzema

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Pulisic Watch

67th minute: The American enters for Timo Werner.

76th minute: A quiet debut nearly delivers an assist, as Pulisic races into the right of the box and crosses to the back post, where a sliding target can’t pop the ball inside the post.

77th minute: Pulisic drives the ball toward the box, finding Cesar Azpilicueta and getting the ball back but finding no route closer to goal before hitting the deck. Good defending from Madrid.

81st minute: Havertz and Kante combine to set up Pulisic, who fires wide from a near-impossible angle.

82nd minute: His dribble from the right flank sees Pulisic spot the right pass but hit it tepidly into the waiting feet of Sergio Ramos.

88th minute: Can you say impact sub? Pulisic stay cool at the edge of the pitch and spots Mount for the goal that puts away Real.

90th minute: Federico Valverde chops down Pulisic and is shown a yellow card.

FT: Quite a 23 minutes from the USMNT star. Pulisic’s assist comes off 22 touches, two key passes, and two big chances created. He also draws two fouls and wins three-of-four ground duels.

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Three things we learned from Chelsea – Real Madrid; Pulisic Watch originally appeared on NBCSports.com