• Pierce O'Malley

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace

The last game of 2018 was an important one as The Blues came away from Selhurst Park with three points. The game started out relatively slow with Chelsea having most of the possession but no clear chances on goal. Chelsea hit the bar twice with a Willian freekick and a Ross Barkley volley off of a corner. As Chelsea continued to look dangerous in the first half, they failed to produce any clear cut opportunities towards goal. As the first half came to a close, Chelsea started to pick up the speed of the game and press Palace whenever they got the ball. Either looking for the wide man, Willian or Azpilicueta, to cross the ball in to the box, or lobbing it over the top towards Hazard and Giroud was used many times as the first half came to a close.

Once the second half kicked off The Blues started off with a little more flare as they pushed higher up the field as the back line started to hold a higher line than before. Only six minutes after the start of the second half, N'Golo Kante received a beautiful ball from David Luiz just outside of the six-yard box. Taking a beautiful touch with his chest Kante was imediatly surrounded by three Palace players tryin to close him down. However, Kante cooly slotted the ball into the back fo the net to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead in the fifty first minute. As the game continued on from Kante's goal Chelsea struggled to find the back of the net even after Giroud scored twice from the offside position. In his second offside goal, Giroud was tackled right after his shot to painfully role his ankle and require a substitution. The frenchman had a pretty good seventy five minutes at Selhurst Park even though he did not get on the scoresheet.

In the end, Chelsea came away with three important points to secure their fourth place spot by staying five points above Arsenal. The hopes for Champions League football look bright for Chelsea as they are now back to winning ways.

Player Ratings:

Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6/10

Cesar Azpilicueta: 7.2/10

David Luiz: 8.1/10

Antonio Rudiger: 6.3/10

Marcos Alonso: 6/10

Jorginho: 6.6/10

N'Golo Kante: 8.6/10

Ross Barkley: 5.9/10

Eden Hazard: 6.9/10

Olivier Giroud: 7.9/10

Willian: 7/10


Alvaro Morata [76']: 4/10

Emerson [82']: 3/10

Kovacic [88']: 2/10

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