Crystal Palace vs Chelsea 10/4/21 – Full Match Report

Christian Pulisic grabs a brace as blistering Blues demolish Palace at Selhurst Park.


Pre-game:

Despite having one eye on their Champions League clash with Porto in midweek, Chelsea was back in action on Saturday evening as they looked to launch themselves back into the top four of the Premier League.


The Blues were looking to make up the points from last week’s freak defeat against West Brom, which saw an end to Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start to life in South-West London.


The Blues arrived at Selhurst Park with a full squad to choose from, excluding the suspended Thiago Silva and injured Andreas Christensen. Thomas Tuchel made three changes to his Chelsea side as Kurt Zouma, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic replaced Thiago Silva, Reece James and Timo Werner.


The hosts walked into the game claiming just two wins in their last eight games. The Eagles did however snatch a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park last week, with led to Roy Hodgson naming an unchanged team in the hope of a similar result.


Over the years it has been Chelsea who have had the upper hand against Palace, winning the last six meetings between the club.


First half:

Tuchel’s side looked to continue the tradition as the Blues started on the front foot. Mason Mount looked to test the Palace defence early, but struggled to keep his shot down.


Chelsea continued their dominance and were awarded an early lead as Kai Havertz fired Chelsea ahead. The move stemmed from a chance for Christian Pulisic, as the American came close and was denied by Vicente Guaita from close range. Chelsea however kept the move alive and worked it onto Havertz, who stay composed on his favourable left foot to convert his first goal since October.

Just minutes later Chelsea found a second, as Christian Pulisic made no mistake in beating Guaita at his near post to double visitiors lead.

After coming out all guns blazing, Chelsea was in firm control with the hosts camped into their own half. Tuchel’s side were in full charge of possession and in cruise control.


On the 22nd minute, the Blues came close to a third as Kai Havertz was denied a second following a superb save from Guaita.


Chelsea looked to get the job done early in South London, the visitors continued their onslaught and there was only so much resilience Palace could take before conceding an inevitable third.


The goal was scored by Kurt Zouma, who climbed highest to meet Mason Mount’s cross and convert his fifth goal of the campaign.

Tuchel’s side came close to a fourth just minutes later, with Antonio Rüdiger’s header being cleared off the line by former blue Patrick van Aanholt.


Despite Chelsea’s dominance it was a poor first half for Palace, who failed to even test Mendy in the first 45 minutes.


Second half:

Hodgson’s side had their work cut out in the second period, and came close to conceding a fourth as Ben Chilwell led an early attack for the Blues.


The defender also went for goal as the game came closed in on the hour mark. Despite scoring against Porto in midweek, Chilwell struggled to keep his shot down after latching on the end of a Hudson-Odoi cross.


Despite defending for the majority of the game, Crystal Palace grabbed one back with their first attempt of the game. The goal came on the 62nd minute, as Jeffrey Schlupp found the ariel threat of Christian Benteke – who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.


Five minutes later, Chelsea looked for a fourth in the hopes of putting the hosts entirely out of sight. Kai Havertz was on target once again for the Blues, but was denied by shot stopper Guaita again.


On the 78th minute, Chelsea found their fourth as Christian Pulisic grabbed his second goal of the game. It was another fantastic move from Tuchel’s side, as Mason Mount found Reece James on the right-hand side. The full back then put an inviting cross into the penalty area, which was deflected before being tucked away by the American international.

The attacking didn’t end there for the visitors, who came close again towards the end of the game with chances falling to Kai Havertz and substitute Hakim Ziyech. Neither could however capitalise with the final whistle eventually blowing – marking the end of what was a dominant display from Tuchel’s Blues.


After the whistle:

As mentioned previously, Crystal Palace haven’t seen much joy against their London rivals in recent years - with history repeating itself in Saturday evenings clash. To say the Eagles were lacklustre would be an understatement, with their goal coming from what was a very rare attack in the game.


With Palace already on 38 points, you would expect them to be safe and well steered away from relegation. Hodgson’s side do however have a tough run of fixtures approaching, as they will face Leicester, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool in their final six games.


For Chelsea, it was a great performance that relaunches the London club back into the top four. With Tuchel’s side picking up a valuable 2-0 victory against Porto in midweek – the Blues will hope to finish the job off on Tuesday night, before facing Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup next weekend.


Final score:

Crystal Palace 1-4 Chelsea.

- Havertz (10’).

- Pulisic (10’, 78’).

- Zouma (30’).

- Benteke (63’).

Line-ups:

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita; Ward, Kouyaté, Cahill, van Aanholt; Ayew (76’), Milivojević, Riedewald (59’), Eze (59’); Benteke, Zaha.

- Subs: McCarthy (59’), Schlupp (59’), Townsend (76’).


Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta ©, Zouma, Rüdiger; Hudson-Odoi (76’), Jorginho (61’), Kovačić (83’), Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz.

- Subs: Kanté (61’), James (76’), Ziyech (83’).


Referee:

Michael Oliver.


Possession:

Crystal Palace (36%) vs Chelsea (64%).


Shots:

Crystal Palace (1) vs Chelsea (23).

Shots on target:

Crystal Palace (1) vs Chelsea (10).

Corners:

Crystal Palace (0) vs Chelsea (8).

Fouls:

Crystal Palace (7) vs Chelsea (12).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | Sky Sports Football).

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Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


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