Flood gates are open!
Chelsea travel to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace for MW 31 of the Premier League season and put in a blistering performance to get a big win. Tuchel selected a strong lineup with Mendy in goal, Azpilicueta, Zouma, and Rudiger in defence with Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell as the wing backs. Christensen has a minor hamstring injury which caused him to miss out. Jorginho, and Kovacic continued in the midfield while Pulisic and Mount played behind Havertz who started as a false 9. A strong bench to go with it and Liverpool having won the previous game Chelsea had to win to get back into the top four.
Chelsea started all guns blazing and Chelsea fans were asking themselves what was happening. Usually we start our games and dominate but this time there was an added potency in attack. The first goal came in the 8th minute as a cross by Mount found Pulisic who’s shot was saved by Guaita. The rebound found Eze but Havertz nicked the ball from him and played a pass to Mount. Mount played it into Hudson-Odoi who passed it to Havertz and he finessed a left footed shot past Guaita to make it 0-1. An exquisite goal. Chelsea were just revving up and our 2nd goal came 2 minutes later as Havertz found Pulisic who smashed a left footed shot past Guaita. 0-2 and Palace were suffering. It could have been 3 soon after as Jorginho found Havertz making a run and the German used a brilliant first touch with his left foot to then volley it with his right but it was saved by Guaita. That first touch is one of the best I have ever seen. The game then flattened out a bit as it was all Chelsea and Palace got to grips. The 3rd goal came in the 30th minute as Mount delivered a brilliant cross into the box and Zouma rose highest to head into the net. There were more a couple more chances for Chelsea in the 1st half but Guaita made some more saves and there was some last ditch defending as well.
The 2nd half began with with Palace showing some energy. Chelsea began slowly as well and paid for it as Palace got a goal back in the 63rd minute via Benteke. Chelsea responded well to conceding though and we began to show our attacking potency once again. Havertz found himself through on goal but his shot was saved by Guaita. Pulisic then scored his 2nd of the evening in the 78th minute as he finished Reece Jame’s cross which took a deflection. Havertz got another chance as he put a tame shot straight at Guaita from point black range after a good pass by Ziyech. A solid effort from the team as the game ended 1-4.
Chelsea Team Review
No clean sheet for Mendy which he will feel frustrated about because he literally had nothing to do for the whole game. There was only one dangerous header from Benteke which was the goal. Other than that a pretty relaxed game for the keeper.
Azplicueta, Zouma, and Rudiger were all solid throughout the game but the lapse in concetration led to that one goal. Zouma got a goal and Rudiger could have had one as well as his header was saved off the lines. Chilwell did well throughout the game and was a constant threat in the Palace box. Hudson-Odoi got an assist for Havertz and was creative down the right. I think his decision making needs to improve though. Reece James came on during the 2nd half to handle the defence side of things.
Kovacic and Jorginho were their metronomic selfs during the game. The passing was exquisite especially from Jorginho. The Italian should have had a couple of assists for sure. It was a Fabreags like performance from him. Mount was impeccable as well. Pressing from the front, perfect free kick’s and crosses and could have had more than an assist himself. Proper midfield performance. Kante came on in the 2nd half and did well.
Pulisic has been edging back to his post lockdown form and yesterday was yet another step in that direction. He got a goal against West Brom, hit the post against Porto and now got two against Palace. Both were brilliantly taken goals. Long may it continue for our Captain America. Havertz was other worldly throughout the game. This game really felt like the German had arrived in the Premier League. Well taken first goal, then a solid assist for Pulisic. Havertz could have had 3 more throughout the game, especially the volley after that amazing first touch in the first half. Top class. Ziyech came on in the 2nd half and could have had an assist.
Tuchel got his team selection spot on. He wanted a reply from Havertz and he got that while Pulisic is showing that he needs to start as well. He was happy to see Chelsea react well but he said that we could have and should have scored more. A step in the right direction though.
So Chelsea get the win and stay in and around the top four depending on how the results in other games go. We finally score more than 2 goals and the way in which we did it has Chelsea fan’s drooling. It was a fluid attacking performance. Giroud, Werner, and Tammy have work to do, if they want to play they have to start scoring. Next up Porto, as we look to progress in the Champions League. COME ON CHELSEA!!!