Chelsea held on for a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace as Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham each scored for the Blues. The Eagles applied the pressure late in the game but it was not enough to help them come back to win. Wilfred Zaha and Christian Benteke each scored in their loss.
The win moved Chelsea a step further towards a top four finish in the Premier League as they try to solidify a spot into Champions League next season.
A close match between the two London clubs and a good three points for Chelsea’s but what else can we take away from the game?
Jorginho Finally Makes His Appearance On The Pitch
Chelsea looked set to win the match when Abraham scored at the 71st minute. His goal increased their lead to 3-1 and looked as if they were going to easily cruise to a victory. A minute later, Benteke scored a goal for Palace and the game had a turn of events. The Eagles started to apply pressure and Chelsea struggled to advance the ball out of their back end.
Frank Lampard elected to bring Jorginho off the bench in the 80th minute. It was the first time the midfielder had playing time since March 3rd against Liverpool in the FA Cup and he reminded many people why he’s vital to this club. The Italian was assertive, calm and composed as he shifted the tempo of the game into Chelsea’s favour.
He showed good awareness and provided a tactical intelligence which limited Palace from having possession. The midfielder positioned himself into areas where his teammates were able to make outlet passes. The game seemed destined for a draw but Jorginho provided a different element which helped weather the storm.
Jorginho has a good read for the game and his efforts were well warranted. He could we have earned himself a starting berth In Chelsea’s tough trip to Sheffield this weekend, depending on the fitness of N’Golo Kanté.
Should Chelsea Consider Re-signing Willian?
Back in June, Willian signed a short-term contract that will see him play with Chelsea for the remainder of the season. The ongoing rumours about Willian’s future with Chelsea haven’t died down and continues to be a main topic in the transfer rumour mill. Should Chelsea consider keeping the Brazilian beyond this season?
Willian has been one of the most productive players since the Premier League restarted. The winger has contributed to seven goals in the last five matches (including FA Cup) and has been one of the most consistent players for Chelsea. In the win against Palace, Willian finished with two assists, five key passes, two shots on target and was fouled once.
In Chelsea’s first goal, he made a great run down the right side and beat Gary Cahill. He then delivered a pass to Giroud in the six yard box which the striker converted.
Later in the match, he set-up their second goal and showed great awareness. He made a clean pass towards Christian Pulisic who made his run towards the box and sent a polarizing shot towards the back of the goal. Throughout the match, Willian showed great character as he kept running and didn’t stop until the final whistle.
Willian has been a key element to Chelsea’s success and is one if the main reasons why Chelsea are currently sitting in third place. His recent performances show what he’s able to deliver on the pitch and the club should consider keeping him on their squad.
The winger has earned praise from Lampard and has been one of his most dependable players since the restart;
“Willian was extremely influential and he and Christian [Pulisic] are a big threat for us”Frank Lampard after the victory over Palace
“The impact Willian is having in all the games at the moment, with his speed and how he travels with the ball, and his quality, we all see it every game. he has been brilliant for us.”
Christian Pulisic Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down
Pulisic had a slow start to the season and found himself in and out of the lineup. He was frustrated with the lack of playing time, yet he knew the transition to the Premier League wasn’t going to be easy. Pulsic’s name wasn’t on the scoresheet until October 26, 2019, when he scored a hat trick versus Burnley. It was an overwhelming start to the season but the American was starting to come around under Lampard.
In January, Pulisic had a set back as he picked up a serious injury that sidelined him for the long-term. In the midst of playing good football, it was a big a blow to Chelsea. The season came to an abrupt stop in March due to Covid-19 and this allowed time for Pulisic to recover and rejoin his teammates
Since the restart of the campaign, he has taken his game to another level where he has been more clinical and fearless. He has finished his chances in the final third which was evident in the goal he scored off Willian’s pass. In the past five matches, he has scored three goals and has looked more tenacious with the ball.
He has been one of Lampard’s most reliable players and has shown no signs of easing up. He has been an integral part of their recent success and is showing why Chelsea acquired him last season.
“Christian is hugely important”Frank Lampard
“He has great talent, we know that. At the start he came here in difficult conditions in terms of him not really having had a break, but he started to play really well and now he has moved his game to another level, not just in how he is going to by people but there is real-end product”
“You look at the top attacking players in the world and they score goals and make assists regularly that win games and at the moment he is doing that, so I am delighted with him.”
There’s our three takeaways from the victory over Palace, let us know what you thought of the match!
Written by Jerry Mancini.