Pulisic comes on as sub to score winner for Chelsea in EPL

Apr 23, 2022, 9:54 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2022, 1:40 pm
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the English P...

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. Chelsea won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

              West Ham's Tomas Soucek, center vies for the ball with Chelsea's Jorginho, right and Chelsea's N'Golo Kante during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
            
              Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, right, shoots and scores the only goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. Chelsea won the game 1-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
            
              Chelsea's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. Chelsea won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
            
              Chelsea's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. Chelsea won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
            
              Chelsea's Christian Pulisic celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, April 24, 2022. Chelsea won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON (AP) — U.S. forward Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score in the 90th minute and earn Chelsea a 1-0 win over West Ham that consolidated third place in the Premier League on Sunday.

Pulisic, who entered as part of a triple substitution by Chelsea in the 76th minute, converted a cross from Marcos Alonso with a first-time finish off his left foot into the bottom corner at Stamford Bridge.

The goal was just the second Premier League winner by an American in the 90th minute or later, the first since Fulham’s Carlos Bocanegra against Tottenham on Jan. 31, 2006. It spared the blushes of Jorginho, who struck a tame penalty at West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi in the 87th minute after his trademark hop-and-skip run-up. Craig Dawson brought down Romelu Lukaku for the penalty and was shown a red card after VAR looked at the incident to check there was contact in the area.

Chelsea moved five points clear of fourth-place Arsenal, which won 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to intensify the fight for Champions League qualification. Chelsea has played one game more, though.

West Ham rested key players like Declan Rice and Michail Antonio ahead of its appearance in the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.

Pulisic has struggled to get starts in Chelsea’s team in recent weeks, with Thomas Tuchel preferring a front three of Timo Werner and Mason Mount either side of Kai Havertz.

“(Pulisic) had a period when he was on a run, had the confidence, was heavily involved up front and Timo had to wait for many, many weeks,” Tuchel said.

“Puli struggled a little bit since coming back from the international break (in March) where he had three matches … and time zones to cope with. From there he struggled energy-wise, this was my impression, on and off the pitch. It’s sometimes like this. Now we have tried to bring him back in full confidence from the bench and I am happy with the effort today and I am happy he had the chance to have this big impact with (other substitutes) Romelu and Hakim (Ziyech).”

Tuchel said on Friday that his players are “fragile,” tired and running short of ideas on how to fix their ailing home form. A dismal first half devoid of any invention or quality backed that up.

Chelsea was without injured defenders Antonio Rudiger and Reece James.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Colorado Avalanche center Alex Newhook, front, is hugged by center Andrew Cogliano after scoring a ...
Associated Press

Newhook scores on birthday, Avalanche beat Blues 4-2

DENVER (AP) — Alex Newhook scored on his birthday for the second straight season, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday for their seventh win in eight games. Evan Rodrigues, J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto also scored for Colorado, and Logan O’Connor had two assists. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 26 shots. […]
15 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, right, dribbles the ball as Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic defends d...
Associated Press

Embiid scores 47 as 76ers beat Jokic, Nuggets 126-119

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid won the battle of MVP candidates with 47 points and 18 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to seven games with a 126-119 win over Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Jokic and Embiid have finished first and second in voting for the NBA’s Most […]
15 hours ago
Evan Bates, left, and Madison Chock perform during the rhythm dance program at the U.S. figure skat...
Associated Press

Chock and Bates defend title, win 4th U.S. ice dance gold

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Madison Chock and Evan Bates successfully defended their ice dancing title Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, scoring 137.85 in the free dance for a top-place total score of 229.75. The recently engaged couple has medaled at nationals in every season since 2013. That’s 11 straight years, which matches […]
2 days ago
Houston forward J'Wan Roberts (13) reacts after a Cincinnati shot clock violation during the second...
Associated Press

Walker, No. 3 Houston rally for a 75-69 win over Cincinnati

HOUSTON (AP) — Jarace Walker had a career-high 25 points and seven rebounds, and No. 3 Houston rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat Cincinnati 75-69 on Saturday. Walker, who scored 13 points in the second half, was 10 of 14 from the field. J’Wan Roberts added 14 points and six rebounds, and Jamal […]
2 days ago
Oklahoma guard Grant Sherfield (25) brings the ball up the court during the first half of an NCAA c...
Associated Press

Sherfield scores 30 as Oklahoma beats No. 2 Alabama 93-69

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Grant Sherfield scored a season-high 30 points, and Oklahoma beat No. 2 Alabama 93-69 on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Jalen Hill added a career-high 26 points on 9-for-11 shooting, helping second-year Oklahoma coach Porter Moser to his biggest win with the program. Tanner Groves had 14 points and 12 […]
2 days ago
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy after defeating Elena Rybakina...
Associated Press

Analysis: Aussie Open champ Sabalenka reworked serve, belief

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka’s Australian Open championship is about persistence. It’s about the value of confronting, not ignoring, problems. It’s about putting in the time and the effort required to get better. And, to hear Sabalenka and her team tell it, it’s as much about the way she reconfigured her self-belief as it […]
2 days ago
Pulisic comes on as sub to score winner for Chelsea in EPL