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Christian Pulisic marks return to football with horror miss against Malmo

Christian Pulisic marks return to football with horror miss against Malmo

Amongst the most consistent sides in Europe this season, Chelsea, yet again, cruised to a 0-1 victory over Malmo in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday as they inch closer towards securing qualification for the next stage.

Thomas Tuchel’s side remained dominant throughout the game, as a solitary goal by Hakim Ziyech ensured they left with three valuable points on the night.

While the fixture may not have lived up to expectations, the Blues support remained overtly positive ahead of the tie. Amongst the anticipation of witnessing their second-string line-up replicate recent first-team performances, the prospect of a return to the line-up for Christian Pulisic since sustaining an ankle injury in August added to the optimism ahead of the fixture.

Though the 23-year-old American failed to make the starting XI, his 16-minute cameo off the bench provided a handful of exciting moments for the Blues’ support on Tuesday.

Although a short outing, Pulisic managed to show glimpses of his potential after gracing the pitch against Malmo in the 74th minute. A livewire for the remainder of the game, the American, perhaps, provided the most anxious moment of the game as he found himself 1v1 with the Malmo keeper in stoppage time.

Following their dominance in possession, a Kai Havertz header off Edouard Mendy’s goal-kick ensured Pulisic’s pace got the better of Malmo’s high defensive line, as the American chased the ball to find himself in a favourable position to secure Chelsea’s second for the night.

As he made his way into the 18-yard-box, the winger successfully rounded the goal-keeper only to skew his shot wide of the near post, thus, diluting a potentially mesmerizing end to the game.

Many likened Pulisic’s open-goal miss on Tuesday to that of Fernando Torres’ against Manchester United several years ago, thus, serving as a marker of the American’s need to consistently prove himself, and not go down as yet another expensive flop in a rampant Chelsea squad.