Coming into this game it was obvious to see that Chelsea had a big opportunity ahead of them. The race for the top four is undoubtedly going to go down to the wire, but either way, the Blues would’ve been able to tighten their grip on their current position with a win. In the end, they managed to edge out a very game Crystal Palace side to secure what was a huge three points.
An odd encounter
The Eagles were much more reserved than many people were anticipating, showing Chelsea a lot of respect. The visitors controlled the pace of the game whereas Palace were waiting to unleash that counter attack, which never really worked out for them. They didn’t actually register a shot until the final five minutes of the game, which should tell you all that you need to know.
Throughout the course of the game it was clear to see that certain players were on a different level, with N’Golo Kante being one of them. He just seemed to be so relaxed on the ball as he always is, and he is the personification of a player that every midfielder should strive to imitate.
The cherry on top for the Frenchman came early in the second half, when his strike from David Luiz’s through ball gave Chelsea the lead. They seemed comfortable from that point on and managed to grind out the result, in a much more convincing manner than the scoreline would suggest.
Crystal Palace will now re-group as they prepare to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers next week, whereas the Blues will host Southampton on the same night.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6.5), Aanholt (6), Sakho (6.5), Tomkins (7), Wan-Bissaka (7), Schlupp (6.5), Kouyate (6), Milivojevic (6.5), McArthur (6.5), Townsend (6.5), Zaha (6), Wickham (6), Meyer (6)
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (6.5), Azipilicueta (7), Rudiger (7.5), Luiz (7.5), Alonso (6.5), Kante (8.5), Jorginho (7), Barkley (7), Willian (6.5), Giroud (6.5), Hazard (7), Morata (6), Kovacic (6), Emerson (6)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Yellow Cards: Alonso
Red Cards: N/A
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