Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Willian nets again as champions bounce back against Palace

Wilfried Zaha returns to training after making'remarkable recovery from serious knee injury Wilfried Zaha returns to training after making'remarkable recovery from serious knee injury
Eugene Bates | 11 March, 2018, 03:00

He also praised the performances of Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud. We didn't take a lot of chances we created today.

Palace almost halved the deficit just after the restart when Alexander Sorloth hit the post, but that proved to be one of few opportunities for the visitors, who slipped to a fourth successive league defeat. Willian's opener in the 25th minute took a deflection off Kelly.

The Ivorian's arrival coincided with an improvement in Palace's play and he went on to set up Patrick van Aanholt's goal as Palace threatened to launch a late comeback against the Premier League champions.

Chelsea are now two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in-hand.

And Chelsea's second soon after was even uglier from Palace's perspective.

This time, the unfortunate Kelly found himself credited with an own goal when Eden Hazard and Zappacosta started a move that ended with the ball coming off Hennessey and then off Kelly before going in.

Despite the early chance for Palace, the Blues largely dominated in the second as they pushed for a third goal in the encounter.

The hosts responded by crafting another fine chance of their own - Willian embarking on a remarkable solo run, before exchanging passes with Giroud and seeing his eventual shot crucially blocked just in front of the goal.

Giroud was replaced five minutes later, with Morata taking his place for the final 15 minutes. It was nearly the flawless game. He was understudy to Hazard in 2015, when they won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho, and against under Conte previous year.

Willian scored his fifth goal in as many games for the 2-1 win.

The Blues went into the game off the back of an abject 1-0 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City. "We are playing against one of the best teams in the world so we must pay great attention, having the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona".

Palace boss Roy Hodgson made a half-time change as he tried to find a route back into the game, bringing on Wilfried Zaha for Christian Benteke.

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