Christian Pulisic had a magical night for Chelsea on Saturday, netting a hat trick in a 4-2 win at Burnley for his first three Premier League goals in a man-of-the-match performance, but he needed a different kind of assist from his teammates after the game.
The 21-year-old was so excited to have bagged his first goals for Chelsea in his first league start since Aug. 31 that he had to be reminded to take the match ball home.
"It's my first professional hat trick, so I nearly forgot the match ball. Luckily my teammates helped me out," Pulisic said.
Pulisic had failed to hit the ground running at Chelsea after finally joining from Borussia Dortmund, but he staked a strong claim for a first-team spot with a magnificent performance on Saturday.
The U.S. international became the youngest Chelsea player to score a Premier League hat trick, beating Tammy Abraham's record that stood for just 42 days.
Pulisic, who stayed at Dortmund on loan after signing with Chelsea in January for £55 million, has struggled to earn a start at Stamford Bridge ahead of Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian and Mason Mount.
When given a chance at Turf Moor by manager Frank Lampard, however, the American impressed with a dazzling display that was garnished by sublime close control and lethal finishing on his way to a perfect hat trick.
"I just want to be on the field, help the team and make an impact," Pulisic said. "I didn't think it would be super easy. But I have come on a few times the past few weeks and was happy to start today. It was a special day.
"There are young guys in the team, but we forget about that when we go out there. It's a fun team to play with now, and we just want to keep this run going."
Pulisic, who has scored 14 goals in 34 senior appearances for the U.S., joined Dortmund at youth level in 2015 after netting 20 in 34 for his country's Under-17 side.
He turned professional in 2016, and in his first three full seasons at the Bundesliga club, he quickly caught attention with his electrifying pace and dribbling skills.
But a wealth of talented forwards at Chelsea meant that Pulisic endured a tough start in London, with Lampard explaining that he shunned the American for a reason after he played for the U.S. in their Gold Cup final defeat by Mexico in July.
"He had a week's break this summer. He arrived for a big price and wanted to come straight back in, but at the same time, why am I going to throw him in?" Lampard said after the match.
"So I have to do it in the right way and get the best out of him. I'm delighted for him."
If Pulisic's performance on Saturday is anything to go by, he will leave Lampard spoiled for choice up front after steering Chelsea to their seventh successive win in all competitions and solidifying their spot in the Premier League's top four.
Information from Reuters was used in this story.