London, June 22 (IANS) Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has praised Christian Pulisic as being "at the real top level" after the winger helped his side to secure a 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Chelsea were 1-0 down at half-time, but Pulisic came on and leveled the scores in the 60th minute with a half-volley inside the area following Cesar Azpilicueta's right wing cross.
Olivier Giroud netted home the winner to send the London club five points ahead of Manchester United and strengthen their claim for fourth place and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, reports Xinhua news agency.
"He was hungry. I know that and I felt for him, as I felt for the players with long-term injuries." "The ability he's got to arrive in the box, it's a big thing, I've spoken about it with him all season,"said the Chelsea boss.
"It's the difference between being a very good player off the side, an attacking player, or the players at the real top level of the game that arrive and score in the six-yard box and hit numbers yearly."
"I really think Christian can do that, so I was really pleased with him, the impact he made when he came on."
It was the American winger's first appearance since January after a recovering from a thigh injury, and his performance convinced Lampard of his importance to the side.
"He will start games for us, of course, and I think he's going to be a big player for us, not just in this run-in but going forward."