Cesar Azpilicueta has praised Chelsea teammate Christian Pulisic’s performance against Porto as the Blues booked a semi-final place despite second-leg defeat.

Pulisic, Kai Havertz, and Mason Mount kept their places in the team after their brilliant performances in the Crystal Palace win last weekend

But it was Pulisic who stole the limelight with his dribbling ability which forced the Porto side to foul him at an average rate of once in every eight minutes and 10 seconds in the game.

After the game, Azpilicueta praised the American and highlighted how Porto continuously made these fouls to stop Chelsea from having any counter-attacking situations.

“He was very good; working really hard on getting the ball, dribbling,” the Chelsea captain told Chelsea TV about Pulisic’s performance.

“Thus they [Porto] didn’t allow you to counter-attack, they made fouls.

“The referee made good decisions to stop them.

“Obviously, we tried to get our rhythm in the game, but sometimes it is difficult.”

Chronicle view

It is hardly a surprise that Porto seemed to be targeting the 22-year-old, given what he could do in counter-attack situations.

Unlike Mount and Havertz who arguably thrive in tight spaces when the opposition team defends deep, Pulisic is the type of player that will cause problems if you give him the space to run into.

It is also why that it was interesting that Thomas Tuchel did not unleash Timo Werner during the game, particularly when Porto committed more body forwards and left quite a lot of space behind.

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