Paul Merson claims Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha struggled in his individual battle against Chelsea’s Reece James in Saturday’s Premier League game.

Chelsea edged out their London rivals at Selhurst Park this afternoon with a late 2-1 win.

Odsonne Edouard put the hosts in front inside seven minutes with a clinical first-time finish inside the box.

However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised with his first goal for the club during the first half. The Blues striker showed his quality with a superb low finish on the swivel.

Conor Gallagher, who enjoyed such a successful loan with Palace last year, ended up breaking their hearts in the 90th minute. The Chelsea substitute unleashed an unstoppable finish into the top corner from outside the box.

Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Wilfried Zaha against Reece James

Sky Sports pundit Merson highlighted that Chelsea’s right-back won his duel against the Palace winger.

“Zaha has switched wings. He got absolutely no change from James,” Merson told Sky Sports.

If you limit Zaha’s influence on the left wing, you end up nullifying the biggest attacking threat in the Palace line-up.

For James, he absolutely loves one-on-one scenarios, especially when he can get physical.

The 22-year-old Blues star is definitely improving his game defensively, so to come through the weekend was another big tick against his name.

Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Described as “unbelievable” recently by Callum Wilson, James really is one of the special players in Chelsea’s ranks.

He’s shown he can play as a full-back in either a back four or back three, so expect him to be vital under Potter moving forward.

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