The first 45 minutes of the game have been as straightforward as they come, for the most part. Crystal Palace, set up in the 4-4-2 shape they’ve adopted ever since Roy Hodgson took over, have been content to let Chelsea play the ball out to the wings and attempt to create chances via crosses. Palace’s striker duo of Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth has provided them with a strong physical presence up front with a good amount of pace as well, and while the pair have shown signs of good link-up play, the Eagles have failed to create anything substantial with Andros Townsend’s volleyed effort from distance coming closest to testing Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea, on the other hand, started the game on the front foot and had three attempts on goal before the 24th minute, when a typical Willian shot, taken after cutting inside from the left flank, was deflected past Wayne Hennessey. Seven minutes later, the Champions’ lead was doubled in an even scrappier manner as Davide Zappacosta’s cross took three successive deflections before finally rolling into the back of the net off Martin Kelly.
The two goals scored haven’t been the cleanest, but Chelsea have been creating chances. Olivier Giroud could’ve had a couple of goals already, missing the opportunity to direct N’Golo Kante’s shot into goal early on and being denied by a heroic James Tomkins clearance at the brink of half-time.
Hopefully the blues will continue in the same rhythm in the second half and seal the three points easily.