The pattern of play was established after just a few seconds, with Crystal Palace kicking off, but Chelsea immediately winning the ball, driving forward and creating a chance. Alas, we would have to wait until the second half to find a breakthrough.
Chelsea had 11 shots in the first half, but only 2 found a target, and neither of those posed much danger. Palace meanwhile had almost as many fouls, while all 11 of their men spent the vast majority of their time inside of their own defensive third.
The situation continued in the second half, but crucially, Chelsea did find the breakthrough, Tammy scoring from Willian’s flick, after Kovacic dribbled through midfield from a throw-in and made the initial pass.
Palace mounted somewhat of a response, but Chelsea remained firmly in control and eventually found the all-important second goal with 10 minutes to go, Pulisic finishing off the chance yet again.
With the three points, Chelsea move into second, at least temporarily. Leicester City play Arsenal later today, while Manchester City take on Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow.
Job done. The run continues.
- Two changes from last weekend’s starting lineup, with N’Golo Kanté returning from injury in place of the suspended Jorginho, and Reece James starting instead of César Azpilicueta.
- Willian captain in absence of the Captain and the Vice-captain
- Youngest Chelsea starting lineup ever in the Premier League, and the youngest for any team this season.
- Azpilicueta not in the starting lineup for just the 2nd time in the last 149 Premier League matches (which stetches back to the end of the 2014-15 season)
- Abraham’s 10th goal of the season, and his 10th in his last 10 Premier League games.
- Pulisic’s 5th goal of the season, and his 5th in his last 3 Premier League games.
- 6th straight Premier League win. 3rd straight Premier League clean sheet at home.
- Next up: international break. Then Manchester City away!