Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Player Ratings

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We will be playing against one of the best teams in the world.

Chelsea claimed three points after a turbulent week, but their performance still left something to be desired as Crystal Palace almost clawed their way back into the match with a display of fighting spirit.

Christian Benteke has not been at his best but needs to step up for big games like these.

Premier League champions Chelsea registered a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

The Blues made four changes to the starting XI that was coming off a 1-2 loss against Manchester United the last time out (Cahill instead of Rudiger, Zappacosta per Moses, Fabregas instead of Drinkwater, and Giroud over Morata) and the changes were noticeable.


Willian dummied the wing-back's cross for Eden Hazard to collect and spread play out to Zappacosta. Relieved to be back in the number 10 role, the Belgian forward enjoyed much of the ball, linking up with Willian and Olivier Giroud, who spearheaded the attack.

"We have to try to have the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona".

Chelsea could have added a few more before the break, but couldn't take advantage of their chances.

But although Chelsea continued to make most of the chances, Zaha's arrival had boosted Palace.

But the winger is a doubt to start against Chelsea on Saturday after suffering a knee injury at the start of February.


Conte's men quickly re-asserted control and Giroud was at the heart of everything they did well, hitting the post himself from an Alonso cross before heading a drilled Willian delivery from the right over the bar. Chelsea continued to create the clearer scoring chances.

"No, normally when you come up against a team who are not having the best of times, that can be very risky", he said.

But neither Alvaro Morata nor Tiemoue Bakayoko are anywhere near the form of autumn, and doing so would necessitate dropping Willian to the substitutes' bench.

As it happens Chelsea's players do seem quite angry at the moment, just not in a positive way. Martin Kelly and James Tomkins wilted under pressure against Manchester United but have done well in general and should keep their place at the back for this game.

It wasn't enough, though.


That has left them out of the Champions League qualification places in fifth place - and they will remain there whatever happens tomorrow.

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