Chelsea beats Palace in EPL before trip to Barcelona

Tyler Owen
March 11, 2018

"We have to try to have the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona". At the same time we have to try the right solution to play this game.

Although Willian did not manage to add to that, his opener was his fifth in his last five games across all competitions, while he generally caught the eye throughout.

Chelsea made the early running in a muted Stamford Bridge atmosphere and nearly broke the deadlock after only nine minutes when Wayne Hennessey kept out an effort from N'Golo Kante as striker Olivier Giroud tried to make contact just in front of him.

The Brazil worldwide opened the scoring in the 25th minute, darting in off the left flank and finding the bottom-left corner via a deflection, with a Martin Kelly own-goal coming soon after. He hit the post and in the first half a defender cleared a chance [off the line], he was a bit unlucky.

The reigning champions lost to Manchester United and Manchester City in their last two games, but things were rather more straightforward this time around and they should have claimed a more comprehensive win over Palace given the number of chances they created. "The commitment of all my players was good so we must be very happy". - Olivier Giroud posted an xG total of 1.81 in this game from seven shots - this is the most by a player that has failed to score in a game in the Premier League this season.

Andreas Christensen – 5

Chelsea are now two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in-hand.

Despite the numbers supporting Willian's inclusion in the team, Conte insists his defensive work is equally important.

"If we want to fight for a place in the Champions League, it will be very important to not drop points". - This was the 10th game this season that Wilfried Zaha hasn't started for Crystal Palace in the Premier League - they haven't won a single point in any of these games.

"I don't think we had all 11 doing that in the first half".

He did rue the late strike from Alexander Sorloth which was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

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