Christian Pulisic helps Chelsea advance to the final
Only one American has ever won the Champions League. Nobody has ever played in the final.
Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen have the chance to change that.
Pulisic’s support for Mason Mount’s goal in the 85th minute sealed Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-finals, which the Blues won 3-1 overall.
Chelsea took the lead in the 28th minute after Timo Werner removed a Kai Havertz chip from the crossbar from a very short distance and a gassed, unconnected Real Madrid rarely threatened to re-enter the affair.
Mount sealed it after a great job by Pulisic and N’Golo Kante helped him set it up:
Now Pulisic will meet Manchester City and Steffen, the city’s second largest goalkeeper, on May 29 in Istanbul. It’s the Premier League’s second final in three seasons after Liverpool beat Tottenham in 2019.
Jovan Kirovski is the only American to have won a Champions League medal after joining Borussia Dortmund in the 1996/97 season. But he never played in the knockout phase.
Pulisic started last week’s first leg against Real Madrid and scored Chelsea’s away goal. This made him the first American to score in the semi-finals of the Champions League. He’s been one of the most effective players of the blues when he’s healthy. So if he’s fit he has a great chance of starting the final.
Steffen faces a bigger task as Ederson has been firmly established as the city’s goalkeeper of choice for several seasons. But it’s still a historic moment for American men’s football as they’ll likely be the first Americans to face each other in the Champions League final.
Chelsea have won the competition before, with a sweeping comeback against Bayern Munich in 2012 at Bayern’s home stadium. Man City never won it.
Chelsea are also the first club to send men’s and women’s teams to the respective Champions League final in the same season. The Chelsea women defeated FC Bayern Munich on Sunday and reached the final against Barcelona on May 16.
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