After a lively match in South London, Chelsea were able to walk away with the all-important three points, taking them to third place in the league and a step closer to their European prospects next season. Although the Blues were positive going forward, their defensive fragilities remain – allowing Crystal Palace (a side which has lacked goals in recent times) to score two in Tuesday’s clash. Here are the five takeaways from that nerve-racking game at Selhurst Park.
Christian Pulisic: A Word Class Player
Ok, so now we really are getting repetitive – but who can blame us when Christian Pulisic continues to deliver world class performances? Captain America was at the heart of the show once again on Tuesday evening, scoring the second goal of the game. It was a superb finish by the 21-year-old on his weak foot, putting the Blues ahead by two goals before the half-hour mark. The winger was a problem for Crystal Palace’s defence all game, winning free-kicks for his side and constantly dribbling into the final third.
Mason Mount: The Unsung Hero
Speaking of world class performances, Mason Mount also had an excellent game on Tuesday. The youngster, without doubt, was the liveliest of the bunch – which is impressive in itself, considering the 21-year-old has played the most games for Chelsea this season. Mount was a joy to watch, producing a nice roulette in the early moments of the game, demonstrating his confidence. The academy graduate was constantly pressing and winning back the ball for his side. However, as he was unable to register an assist or goal, Chelsea fans may forget about the significant impact he had during this game.
Willian: The Assist King
When you look at Willian’s performance against Crystal Palace, you may have mixed reviews regarding the Brazilian. Although the winger was able to provide two assists for Chelsea that match (one for Giroud’s opener and the other for Pulisic’s wonder strike just moments later), he also delivered two poor corners and appeared sloppy at times. That being said, Willian produced a few convincing shots himself and has put in some superb performances recently. One thing’s for certain – people just can’t stop talking about the 31-year-old, with his Chelsea future still up in the air.
Defence: Our Biggest Weakness
Once again, when we look at our weaknesses in the match, our defence is to blame. Andreas Christensen had a particularly poor game, with the 24-year-old at fault for Christian Benteke’s goal in the second half. The centre-back’s positioning was all wrong, making it way too easy for the Eagles to get back another goal. Although Wilfried Zaha’s goal was perhaps more difficult to keep out (based on the pure power of the shot), Kepa Arrizabalaga could’ve done better, with the shot directed at the centre of the goal. With Palace managing two goals from just three shots on targets, it does pose questions about our defence.
Zouma: The Last-Minute Saviour
However, despite our defence being predominantly shaky, there is one defender we should give a lot of credit to – Kurt Zouma. The 25-year-old put in a superb tackle against Wilfried Zaha to save Chelsea in the dying moments of the game, helping them to gain a deserving three points. The centre-back proved more confident than his partner Christensen – and after that tackle, Lampard will have no doubts on who to choose in his back four for the upcoming game against Sheffield United.