Belfast Telegraph

Lampard hails Pulisic after stunning hat-trick

The 21-year-old American inspired Chelsea to victory against Burnley.

Christian Pulisic celebrates his third goal against Burnley (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Christian Pulisic celebrates his third goal against Burnley (Anthony Devlin/PA)

By Phil Medlicott, PA

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said Christian Pulisic had “showed the full package” after the winger’s hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Burnley.

Pulisic scored with his left foot, his right and then his head to put the Blues 3-0 up at Turf Moor.

They were the United States international’s first competitive Chelsea goals and he caused a number of problems besides for Burnley on his first Premier League start since August.

Lampard said of the £58million signing from Borussia Dortmund: “I’m absolutely delighted for him.

“(There’s been) a lot of talk around Christian, for the big price tag, for the fact that he is quite rightly a star in his country. I’m delighted to see him do that today because I know the back story.

“I know he played for his country through the summer, then you get the pressure of ‘can you settle in the Premier League?’. So I’ve tried to deal with it in the way I see best, which is to give him minutes – he has played games this season already – but I’ve also got competition in that area.

“And I need them all on edge, trying to perform when they play. Christian has been doing that recently from the bench, fully deserved his start today and it was a fantastic, match-winning performance.

“I know what a good player he is. There are things obviously that he has to learn and improve, because he’s just turned 21.

“The way he has trained in the last few weeks and the impact he’s had when he’s been playing, it says to everyone ‘here I am’, and what talent he does have.

“It’s what we need from all our attacking players, to be a threat, play like that, have a ruthless edge about how they finish. He showed the full package today.

“I hope it gives him the confidence it should do, and I’m pretty sure it will do.”

After striking in the 21st and 45th minutes, Pulisic completed his treble in the 56th, and Willian made it 4-0 two minutes later. Burnley replied through late efforts from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil.

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VAR was called into action late on after Callum Hudson-Odoi went down the area (Anthony Devlin/PA)

With around 15 minutes left, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi went down under the attentions of James Tarkowski and Matthew Lowton and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot, only for the decision to be overturned via VAR, with Hudson-Odoi booked.

Lampard said: “If I felt like it was a dive, I’d speak to Callum and say that’s not what we’re about. But when you’re moving into the box at pace and cutting across defenders, whether the VAR decides it is a penalty or not is one thing.

“I thought there were a lot of things going on in the game, of people going down. Their bench wanted everything that was happening, every time Ashley Barnes has a contest in the air, he falls to the ground, they want a free-kick.

“If it was a dive I’d address it for sure. I need to look back at it but I actually don’t think it’s as clean cut an argument as that.”

It's not about the player tonight - the greater good of the game. Because it's shambolic how people just dive all over the place. I keep hearing this word respect. Respect the game. That is what people should be doing. Sean Dyche

When Burnley boss Sean Dyche spoke about the incident, he called for players to “respect the game”.

“I can’t abide it. I don’t know why it’s in the game,” Dyche said.

“We were told by the Premier League the worst you can get is a yellow card, so everyone has a chance to cheat once a game knowing they are not going to get sent off.

“It’s not about the player tonight – the greater good of the game. Because it’s shambolic how people just dive all over the place. I keep hearing this word respect. Respect the game. That is what people should be doing.

“They have got to do something more. To be clear, Chelsea were too strong for us, this is not to try to divert off it, it’s just something I feel passionately about.

“Get the players to behave properly. Just get them to play the game.”

Dyche said it was “worse” that a young player was involved, and added: “They are the future of the game.

“If they are diving now, you’ll have massive trouble in about five or 10 years’ time, because the game will be a farce. We didn’t used to accept it, but we do now.”

PA

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