Chelsea return to winning ways as Willian stars

Man of the Match Chelsea

Chelsea kept their top four hopes alive with a narrow victory over city rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday. Willian scored the Blues’ opener, before an own goal from Martin Kelly doubled Antonio Conte’s side lead. Chelsea could’ve put the game to bed, but were unable to add a third goal. Patrick Van Aanholt struck late on against his former side to set up a nervy finish, but the Blues were able to hold on for all three points against Roy Hodgson’s side. Here’s who impressed as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace at the weekend:

3. Davide Zappacosta

The Italian started ahead of Victor Moses at right wing-back, who is presumably being rested for Barcelona on Wednesday. Zappacosta showed Conte, and the Chelsea fans, why is he more than capable of challenging the Nigerian for a starting spot with a great performance. Given a lot of space on the right-hand side, he was a constant threat going forward. He played a vital role in the second goal. After being found by Eden Hazard, the Italian’s effort took a number deflections before eventually going in off Kelly. A constant outlet for Chelsea, Zappacosta showed that Moses’ spot could be up for grabs.

2. Olivier Giroud

Making his second Premier League start for Chelsea, the Frenchman should have opened his league account for the Blues. A constant focal point in attacks for the Blues, Giroud held the ball up well and found team-mates well going forward. He must’ve thought he had scored when his effort went beyond Wayne Hennessey, but a remarkable goal-line clearance from James Tomkins saw it out for a corner. The striker came within inches of scoring in the second half, but saw his effort come back off the post. He looks more likely to score than Alvaro Morata, and should be given a proper opportunity against Barcelona.

1. Willian

Another game, and another goal for Willian. From the start, the Brazilian looked full of energy and running. He made a few efforts on the Palace goal which didn’t really test the goalkeeper, before picking up the ball on the left-hand side and cutting in, and firing another shot on goal. It took a deflection, and went beyond Hennessey to open the scoring for Chelsea. Hopefully, he can continue his fine form in front of goal, and with an away tie to Barcelona on the horizon, the Blues will hope he can.

About the Author

Ryan Payne
I'm a Sports Journalism student at the University of Gloucestershire, and a student member of the Football Writers' Association. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @RyanPayne31.