Olivier Giroud Secures The Three Points For Chelsea – 3 takeaways

Olivier Giroud Secures The Three Points For Chelsea

Chelsea put their recent outing against Sheffield United behind them and put forth a dominant performance against Norwich City.

Olivier Giroud was the difference-maker for Chelsea and delivered the game winning goal.

The win secured three crucial points for the Blues, who are trying to solidify a spot into Champions League next season. Manchester United, Leicester City and Wolverhampton are all within striking distance and Chelsea cannot afford to have any slip ups.

So, what did we learn from this match?

Olivier Giroud Steps Up For Chelsea

Prior to the resumption of the league, Giroud appeared in nine league matches. Tammy Abraham was Frank Lampard’s first starter and Michy Batshuayi was the second choice to replace Abraham. This left Giroud as the third choice, which minimized his playing time.

Abraham’s recent poor form and struggles, along with Batshuayi’s poor performance against Manchester United back in February, has given Giroud his opportunity.  Since the restart, he has become the number one choice and this has paid off immensely.  

In their past seven matches, Giroud has scored four goals with three of them being game winners. For the first time in his career with Chelsea, he scored in three straight league starts. The striker has helped the Blues earn nine crucial points as they try to earn a spot into Champions League. Giroud, once again, put forth a superb performance.

“He is always going to give you a desire to get in there for the team [Chelsea],” Lampard said.

“He had a few half chances in the central area. That is what you have to do when he is in the team – use his attributes. He has scored important goals. He has never given me a problem, always trained well. His professionalism is always good.”

Giroud’s presence was noticeable throughout the match as he was very physical and aggressive inside the goal area. He won six aerial duels, had eight shots on goal and converted one key pass. He made countless runs towards the goal area and made it difficult for the Norwich defense. His recent play has earned the respect of Lampard and further advanced Chelsea towards their goal (Champions League).

Tim Krul Makes The Score Line Look Better

Norwich struggled to advance into Chelsea’s final third as the Canaries finished with two shots on goal. They had a possession rate of 32%, yet failed to sustain any pressure on Chelsea’s backend. It was the performance of Tim Krul who made the score line look more deceiving. The goalkeeper made hard fought saves on Giroud, Christian Pulsic and Marcos Alonso. He showed great awareness, made timely challenges and was well positioned to make key saves.

Chelsea finished with a possession rate of 68% and had 22 shots on goal. The Blues successfully converted six shots on target that came from close range and needed Krul to be firm and alert. It was a lackluster performance from Norwich, who were officially relegated after their recent loss against West Ham United. Krul has been one of the most encouraging signs in a Norwich’s frustrating season.

Marcos Alonso Delivers A Strong Performance

Chelsea’s recent 3-0 loss versus Sheffield United led Lampard to make five changes to his lineup. Alonso, who hasn’t started since July 1st versus West Ham, was reinserted into the lineup. The fullback was benched for the subsequent two matches after his poor outing against the Hammers. The decision paid off as the Spaniard put forth a quality performance.

From the start of the match, Alonso was fully engaged with his speed, movement and quick runs down the left flank. He showed good awareness and was very decisive and accurate with his delivery into the box. He converted five of seven crosses into the goal area and created scoring opportunities for the Blues. In the second half, he came close to setting up Chelsea’s second goal. The fullback delivered a pass across the box where Azpilicueta made a run with plenty of space to work with and his shot sailed just over the crossbar.

Alonso was sound and alert in the backend where he made safe decisions in clearing the ball away from danger and limited Norwich’s chances. He was tentative on both ends of the field which was encouraging to see. At a critical stage in their season, Alonso stepped up at the right time.

Chelsea fight off late surge from Crystal Palace: 3 take-aways from the match

Chelsea Player Ratings Vs Crystal Palace: Mount Shines With 8 ...
Image Source: Getty Images

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.

Image source: 90Min

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

Image Source: AS English

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.