CHRISTIAN PULISIC went down a storm in rain-lashed Madrid as he fired Chelsea to the brink of a third Champions League final.
The American grabbed a superb solo first-half strike to give the Blues a vital away goal.
Christian Pulisic scored a brilliant goal in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Real MadridCredit: Getty
Real striker Karim Benzema volleyed home a stunning equaliser – his 71st Champions League goal and 277th for the Spanish giants.
But Pulisic’s opener, the first conceded by ex-Blues keeper Thibaut Cortois in six hours, 44 minutes, has given Thomas Tuchel’s team a huge advantage ahead of next Wednesday’s semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.
It could have been even better for the Blues had Timo Werner not blown a golden chance from six yards out.
But the prospect of an all-English final in Istanbul is still on the cards, with Manchester City meeting Paris St Germain in tonight’s first leg of the other semi.
Blues star Cesar Azpilicueta said: “It was a great finish from Christian. He is an amazing player.
“But we could have scored more goals and it could have been a different result.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel added: “We started the game very very well, with a lot of courage and quality. We deserved to win the first half, we had chances.
“Unfortunately they scored from a set-piece and they had nothing else, we didn’t allow any chances.
Cesar Azpilicueta believes Chelsea should have scored more in SpainCredit: Reuters
“It was a disappointing score at half time. We had to stay calm and not lose confidence. The second half was very tactical, you could feel that we are a bit tired.
“We only had a few days to recover from another tough away game. We have to live with 1-1.
“The goal was well deserved and we should have scored at least one more. We conceded more or less out of nothing and that can always happen against individual quality.”
Meanwhile, former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole hailed Chelsea’s performance on BT Sport.
But he also agreed the Blues need to take their chances better.
Cole explained: “Chelsea are great ball drivers. Mount, Pulisic, they drive with the ball and can take the ball up the pitch.
“But one thing that lets them down is the finishing touches.”
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