Willian-powered Chelsea cruise past Crystal Palace
Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at the Bridge in a game that could have been so much more comfortable.
The Blues started the game well, and in the opening 20 minutes they had the best of the play, with Davide Zappacosta in particular having great joy down the the right.
They couldn’t turn that attacking domination in the wide spaces into goal though, and Palace weren’t too uncomfortable as half time approached. Olivier Giroud did his best to get involved up front as crosses came into the box.
Willian was once again the one to make the difference, cutting inside and hitting a shot which took a deflection and squeezed home off the post to give his team the lead. Soon the lead was increased, as one of Zappacosta runs lead him into the box, where he delivered a cross that was deflected in by Martin Kelly.
There plenty more chances for Chelsea to increase their lead, but in the end they were happy enough to go in at half time two goals to the good.
The second half saw Antonio Conte’s men pouring forward time after time, but they just couldn’t find the finishing touch to put the game out of reach. Both Olivier Giroud and Willian were guilty of missing chances as the Blues were foiled time and again by the post or by blocking Palace players.
In the end, despite this dominance, it was Palace who were the next team to score, with Patrick Van Aanholt firing under Thibaut Courtois to give the away team a chance in the last few minutes, which suddenly became very nervy when they should have been plain sailing.
Chelsea held on though, and were good value for their win in the end.