Christian Pulisic “showed the full package” with his perfect hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-2 victory against Burnley, according to head coach Frank Lampard.
United States international Pulisic scored with his left foot, right foot and his head to give Chelsea a three-goal lead in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Turf Moor.
Willian added a fourth goal before Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil pulled a couple back for Burnley in the final five minutes, but the Blues saw out a seventh successive win in all competitions.
Lampard lavished praise on Pulisic after the match and is hopeful his hat-trick hero will take confidence from scoring his first goals in English football.
“The way that he’s trained over the past few weeks and the impact he’s had when he’s been playing has said to everyone ‘here I am’ and what talent he does have,” he said at his post-match news conference.
“I’m really pleased for him today, it’s what we need from all our attacking players – to be a threat, to play like that, to have a ruthless edge about how they finish. He showed the full package today.
“The first goal, where he waits, then a step over, then moves away from the players. That sort of thing is brilliant and I hope it gives him the confidence that it should do. I’m pretty sure that it will do.”
Pulisic’s treble in Lancashire was even more special given it was his first Premier League start since August, the 21-year-old even failing to make Chelsea’s matchday squad for a Champions League clash at Lille earlier this month.
He featured for USA at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June and Lampard said he was keen to further manage the youngster’s playing time on the back of a £58million move from Borussia Dortmund during the close season.
“I’m absolutely delighted for him,” Lampard said. A lot of talk around Christian for the big price tag, for the fact he’s quite rightly a star in his country and plays for the USA so well.
“From my point of view, I’m delighted to see him do that today because I know the backstory, I know the pressures of a move like that.
“I also know he played for his country through the summer and had a one-week break this summer. Then you get the pressure of ‘can you settle in the Premier League’ so I’ve tried to deal with it in the way that I see best, which is to give him minutes.
“He fully deserved his start today and it was a fantastic match-winning performance.”
Chelsea were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes to play when Callum Hudson-Odoi went to ground under pressure from James Tarkowski, only for VAR to overturn referee Michael Oliver’s decision.
Hudson-Odoi was booked for simulation and was criticised by Burnley boss Sean Dyche for his “ridiculous” antics, but Lampard hit back at the criticism of his young forward.
“If I felt like it was a dive I would speak to Callum and say that’s not what we’re about,” he said. “But when you’re moving into the box at pace and cutting across defenders…
“I thought there were a lot of things going on in the game today of people going down under not real contact.
“If it was a dive I’d address it, for sure. I need to look at it back but I don’t think it’s as clean cut an argument as that.”