CHELSEA have spent years relying on Eden Hazard to be the one main creative spark in the team, that one player who makes things happen out of nothing.
When they are under pressure or simply struggling to break a team down, then you could usually rely on Hazard to step up and create, or score a goal.
Christian Pulisic is a ready-made replacement for Hazard[/caption]
Chelsea sold Hazard to Real Madrid last summer and many supporters wondered how on earth they would replace him.
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Well, you can’t, simply.
You cannot replace a unique player like Hazard, because it is impossible.
But what you can do is fill the void, and it was so important that Chelsea did that in the summer.
In came USA international Christian Pulisic, and although nobody expected miracles, the highly-rated 21-year-old was being looked at as that guy who can help fill the Hazard void.
Pulisic proved tonight that he can be that guy.
Chelsea were struggling to break down a very stubborn defensive Norwich City side in a game that became very important for Frank Lampard’s side.
After getting thrashed by Sheffield United at the weekend, Chelsea’s Champions League chances slipped.
But luckily Leicester City also lost, and Manchester United dropped points against Southampton, meaning Champions League qualification remained in Chelsea’s hands.
But first Chelsea needed to beat an already relegated Norwich City, and this was never going to be easy regardless.
Pulisic was Chelsea’s Hazard tonight, when nobody else could step up and do the business, Pulisic did.
First of all he was their biggest threat with an excellent shot that was saved in the first half, and then he provided the all-important cross in first half stoppage time that was finished by the head of Giroud to break the deadlock.
Before this, Chelsea were lackluster and did not look like scoring in a million years.
Eden Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid last summer[/caption]
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But Pulisic added that important creative spark that Chelsea needed and you could feel the relief from Lampard and co right away.
Chelsea ended up winning what was a very boring game 1-0, but these are the types of results and types of games that you have to grind out a result in order to be successful in this league, and Chelsea did it.
But they would not have been able to do this tonight without the creativity and quality of Pulisic, the guy to finally fill the void of Hazard.