Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Willian scores again as champions bounce back against Palace

Willian scores again as champions bounce back against Palace

"Top, cream of the crop, he's incredible", United manager Jose Mourinho said after his side's win over Chelsea two weeks ago.

Antonio Conte said Chelsea can not afford to drop any more points in the race to finish in the top four, as the Blues shook off a run of four league defeats from five to beat Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Seven minutes later and the home side had doubled their lead with a goal equal parts attractive and gormless.

"It's a shame we didn't play the whole of the game as we played the second half", Roy Hodgson, the Palace manager, said. Only City have scored more goals but only Liverpool have beaten City in the league and it does not seem to be in Klopp's nature to ask his players to play within themselves.

Cesc Fabregas began it with an inch-perfect pass out to Marcos Alonso on the left.

Chelsea have had a bad couple of weeks, losing twice in Manchester to United and City, but I am expecting them to be much improved on their return to Stamford Bridge.

However, Conte's men were wildly inaccurate - or rather we should say unfortunate - in front of the goalkeeper.

Patrick van Aanholt picked up a goal in that game against the Red Devils and should start at left-back while young Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has put in solid shifts in the last two games, should keep his place at right-back, keeping Joel Ward on the bench.

Luckily Martin Kelly was on hand to stop the shot with a goal-line clearance.

Chelsea's dominance finally broke the resistance of Palace and it was a goal of individual quality from the right boot of Willian on 25 minutes. They are one point adrift safety, however, so all hope is not lost for them.

As unstable as Chelsea are, Palace would presumably love to change positions.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insisted his side were more dominant than the scoreline suggested in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. He hit the post and in the first half a defender cleared a chance. The Norwegian striker, a January signing, let off a shot that flew beyond Thibaut Courtois but back off the near post. This time fortune was on Palace's side. So close! The Frenchman was replaced by Alvaro Morata with a little under 20 minutes to play, and could count himself unfortunate not to have opened his league account. Hodgson and Palace will need a proper fight if they are to survive relegation.

Like this: