It was a heartbreaking ending to the FA Cup final for Chelsea and US national team star Christian Pulisic, who was selected to the starting lineup against rivals Arsenal.
After continuing his torrid scoring stretch with a 5th minute goal, Pulisic was forced off two minutes into the second half with what looked like an apparent hamstring injury. He looked distraught as he left the field with the help of trainers.
He scored the goal that put Chelsea up 1-0 before Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng equalized from the penalty spot later in the first half.
CHRISTIAN PULISIC GIVES CHELSEA THE LEAD INSIDE FIVE MINUTES! pic.twitter.com/PIB2hDymW1
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2020
By scoring the goal Pulisic became the first American to score in the final.
1 – @cpulisic_10 is the first American player to score in an FA Cup final, while it was Chelsea’s quickest goal in the final of the competition since Roberto Di Matteo in 1997 (first minute v Middlesbrough). Blocks. #FACupFinal #ARSCHE pic.twitter.com/QKOM5AiOqn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 1, 2020
Aubamayeng would go on to add the winner in the 67th minute, sending Chelsea to a gutting 2-1 defeat.
It had been a magical restart to the season for Pulisic who has become Chelsea’s most important attacking player in its run to a Champions League berth and an FA Cup final berth.
Pulisic, who was signed last offseason from Borussia Dortmund for $73 million, finished his first English Premier League season at Chelsea with nine goals and six assists in 25 matches.
The 21-year-old made history by becoming only the third US international to appear in the prestigious FA Cup final. Former Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard played in two editions:
Christian Pulisic starts for Chelsea in today’s FA Cup Final!
He’ll be the third U.S. international to play in an #FACupFinal:
🇺🇸 Christian Pulisic
🇺🇸 Tim Howard (2004 W, 2009 L)
🇺🇸 John Harkes (1993 L)
— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) August 1, 2020
Chelsea also still have faint Champions League hopes and depending on the severity of the injury, Pulisic will be relied upon to play a major role. The Blues play the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 series against Alphonso Davies and Bayern Munich on Aug. 8, with the German champions holding a 3-0 aggregate lead.