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Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League

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The winger has struggled since arriving at Stamford Bridge during the summer but he kickstarted his Blues career with a fine hat-trick at Burnley

This was the game that Christian Pulisic had been waiting for.

A perfect hat-trick for Captain America, his first goals in a Chelsea shirt, and a day he will remember forever.

Much has been said and written about the 21-year-old’s suitability to Premier League football but here at Turf Moor he answered the doubters.

His most promising form for the Blues had indeed preceded this game; he’d been building up to this one, where he built the platform for a hard-earned 4-2 victory over Burnley.

Manager Frank Lampard said beforehand that Callum Hudson-Odoi was in need of a rest but, equally, the United States international was deserving of his opportunity from the get-go.

Pulisic had not started in the Premier League since the last weekend of August. But recent substitute performances – against Newcastle last weekend and in the Champions League midweek against Ajax – ultimately convinced Lampard that it was worth including him against the Clarets.

And where he and goalscorer Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to make the difference in Amsterdam, it was Pulisic who looked the part right from the beginning at Turf Moor.

Many have wilted in the intensity of the Burnley cauldron and the way the hosts initially set about the visitors demonstrated that Chelsea simply would not get the time and space to construct chances that they would ideally have liked.

There wasn’t much to pick between the two teams initially. Burnley could and should have had a few goals of their own before the break. Ashley Barnes was guilty of misreading a Ben Mee header across goal and had he been better positioned, he would have scored.

Erik Pieters hit a deflected ball on the bounce that Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to get behind. Dwight McNeil looked dangerous whenever he went at Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho.

Christian Pulisic Willian Chelsea Burnley

But while Burnley huffed and puffed, they lacked that clinical quality in front of goal required to get that ball over the line. Chelsea were finding it difficult themselves but some individual brilliance from Pulisic would carry the day.

Many Americans have been wondering what Pulisic had to do to get into Lampard’s team; he’d been having a hard time convincing anyone that he was football’s coming force since his £58 million ($73m) move from Borussia Dortmund.

Here, however, was the proof. Three assists in his previous four appearances paved the way for this display. First, he capitalised on a horrific Matthew Lowton error and meandered towards goal. His step-over bought some space for a left-footed strike across the goalkeeper Nick Pope.

His first Chelsea goal was the result and, indeed, the first goal scored for the club by an American.

His second owed plenty to the industriousness of the fourth goal scorer Willian, who blocked down a Burnley pass out of defence and paved the way for Pulisic to repeat his trick.

This time it was a right-footed finish and it was helped in via a Ben Mee deflection. The timing for Chelsea was perfect; the second goal came right before the half-time whistle and it took the sting out of Burnley and their supporters.

He might have thought he was dreaming when the opportunity for the third came up.

Winning a header against Burnley is a tough ask for any player, particularly on set-pieces. Yet he was available inside the Burnley box to meet Mason Mount’s cross and write his name in the history books.

Left foot, right foot, header – not many people can say they’ve scored the perfect Premier League hat-trick.

Christian Pulisic Willian Azpilicueta Chelsea Burnley

Aside from the goals, there were clever dribbles, through balls to Willian and clever link-up play with both Tammy Abraham and Mount.

He finished his day with five shots, four of which were on target, and three chances created. By any metric, those are good numbers.

Indeed, it was he and Mount who provided Chelsea’s best threats on the break any time the Burnley attack broke down.

Willian, however, did not need any help when placing the ball out of the reach of Nick Pope to put the game beyond Burnley.

Nonetheless, Lampard will not be happy that his side threw away a clean sheet.

It is inexcusable to ease up like they did, especially against a side as tenacious as Burnley. The result might well have been done and dusted after Willian’s strike but the goals from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil made it a much nervier finish for the visitors than it should have been.

Still, this seventh victory in a row in all competitions means Chelsea will finish the weekend inside the Premier League’s top four, no matter what Arsenal do on Sunday.

There has been plenty to admire about the beginning of the Lampard era at Stamford Bridge but the perplexing Pulisic situation was one stick to beat the new manager with.

It was difficult for Lampard, who might well have believed Pulisic was worthy of selection but who also could not really afford to drop any of his preferred wingers in Hudson-Odoi or Willian.

So, this will be a pleasant conundrum for him to solve. Pulisic worked his way into contention, came in and took his chance.

He finished the day with his first, second and third Premier League goals and as the name on everyone’s lips.

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Football

Carlo Ancelotti left Everton to become head coach of Real Madrid for a second time

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The 61-year-old Italian, who oversaw Real Madrid for a very long time somewhere in the range of 2013 and 2015, has left Everton following year and a half in control at Goodison Park.

He succeeds Zinedine Zidane at Real and the move leaves Everton looking for a 6th perpetual supervisor in five years.

Ancelotti has marked a three-year bargain at Real and said the move addressed “an unforeseen chance”.

He added: “I have total regard for everybody related with Everton and expectation they can accomplish the energizing chances they have before them.

“While I have appreciated being at Everton I have been given a startling chance which I accept is the correct move for me and my family as of now.”

Genuine will introduce Ancelotti to the media on Wednesday, while Everton said they “will start the way toward selecting another supervisor right away”.

Everton will have been left paralyzed by the speed of advancements just now as proprietor Farhad Moshiri’s “Hollywood” chief leaves.

Ancelotti’s appearance was viewed as a genuine upset by Moshiri, convincing one of the game’s generally enriched and regarded figures to come to Merseyside to reestablish Everton to previous wonders.

The 61-year-old’s rule has been a mishmash with loathsome home structure offset by results like their first success over Liverpool at Anfield since 1999 – in any case a tenth spot finish in his first full season was a failure.

Ancelotti, in any case, was as yet held in immense respect by Everton allies, who have been left sharply disillusioned by his choice to withdraw.

The fierce truth is that for all Moshiri’s money and aspiration, Everton actually can’t view themselves as anyplace close to the first class, which consistently makes them helpless against clubs, for example, Real Madrid setting sights on their prize resources.

The typical suspects are being connected, for example, Eddie Howe after he turned down Celtic, previous Wolves supervisor Nuno Espirito Santo and ex-Everton manager David Moyes – albeit that is probably not going to occur after he verbally concurred a three-year bargain at West Ham in the wake of bringing them into Europe. Moshiri, however, is something of a special case and may have thoughts of his own.

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Ahmed Musa to play without monthly salary at Kano Pillars

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Ahmed Musa won’t be paid in his short stretch at Kano Pillars in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

Musa, 28, finished paperwork for the four-time Nigerian heroes under the Elite Players Program of the League Management Company, which urges top Nigerian internationals to play for neighborhood clubs.

As indicated by LMC manager Shehu Dikko, the program works twoly.

A club can distinguish and sign such players, or the LMC itself can sign the player and appoint them to a club of their decision.

It was the last for Musa.

“We addressed him about returning home to play, and as somebody who is consistently prepared to offer in return, he didn’t stop for a second,” Dikko told ESPN.

“When the arrangement was marked, the decision of which club to play for was up to him. Various clubs needed him. We put everything before him and he settled on the choice to go to Kano Pillars.”

Musa has been a free specialist since October 2020, when he left Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, with whom he won the Saudi Pro League title and Super Cup in the wake of going along with them from Leicester City in 2018.

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AFCON

Super Eagle Teslim Balogun Stadium Training Camp Adhere To COVID-19 Protocols Ahead Of Lesotho Clash

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The Super Eagles will hold their last exercise at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos on Monday evening, beginning from 1800 hours.

Their last instructional meeting which will be administered by director Gernot Rohr is available to the media for just the initial fifteen minutes, at that point everybody will be compelled to leave the arena.

No columnist will be permitted into the arena when the Lesotho public group have a vibe of the Teslim Balogun Stadium turf because of COVID-19 conventions set up.

Besides, there will be no authority pre-match public interview because of the Covid pandemic.

The Super Eagles players and authorities were up toward the end of last night since they had to go to an occasion out of appreciation for Nigerian Federation president Amaju Pinnick following his political decision into the esteemed FIFA board.

Nigeria are ensured to top Group L of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers paying little heed to the result of their last match against Lesotho as they are as of now on 11 focuses, four more than the Republic of Benin, who are second in the standings.

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