Chelsea beat Crystal Palace by two goals to one in a game which could have been much more comfortable.
It’s a crucial win for the team, who desperately needed some confidence back in the side after a damaging run of defeats. They now travel to Barcelona with a little hope, and a feeling that playing with a striker is certainly the best way to go.
Here are our ratings from today’s featured Chelsea players…
Thibaut Courtois – 6 – Barely troubled by Palace in the first half, he then had even less to do in the second period until from nowhere Van Aanholt appeared to slot the ball under him.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – So solid and calm at the back, regularly pushed forward to win the ball high up and turn defence into attack.
Andreas Christensen – 6 – One bad error gave Palace the chance to score at the start of the second period, but was otherwise efficient in controlling them in attack.
Gary Cahill – 7 – Right in his element coming back into the team against two big target men, and had no problem keeping them under control.
Davide Zappacosta- 8 – The best attacking outlet for the Blues in the first half, causing Patrick Van Aanholt serious issues with his raiding runs. He contributed heavily to the second as his cross was turned in by Martin Kelly.
N’Golo Kante – 7 – Made the team look instantly more energetic and won the ball back well high up the pitch several times.
Cesc Fabregas – 6 – Not at his sharpest in a first half where he had plenty of chances to deliver from set pieces. Was useful in controlling the tempo in the second period however.
Marcos Alonso – 6 – Was quiet compared to his opposite number Zappacosta, but it was his burst into space which lead to the second goal.
Willian – 7 – Was dangerous early and turned that that threat into reality with a great run and shot to give his team the lead. It made the third game in a row he had scored at Stamford Bridge. Continued to provide plenty of attacking quality and defensive work through the game.
Olivier Giroud- 6 – Was keen and involved from early. The active wing backs meant that the Frenchman saw plenty of crosses from the opening minutes. Should probably have scored from one of his various chances.
Eden Hazard – 7 – Not his best day but still very dangerous, working on sweet interplay with Willian and Giroud and setting them both up for chances when he could have shot himself.
Alvaro Morata- 6 – Didn’t have time to do much on the pitch, yet in that time still got booked and then should have been given a second yellow for dashing the card out of a referee’s hand.