Chelsea boss Conte on goalscorer Willian: I can't leave him out!

11 March, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Chelsea Team News Injuries suspensions and line-up vs Crystal Palace

The Ivorian's arrival coincided with an improvement in Palace's play and he went on to set up Patrick van Aanholt's goal as Palace threatened to launch a late comeback against the Premier League champions.

The early exchanges gave every indication Palace were in for a long day, as Chelsea wasted no time in piling on the pressure.

Olivier Giroud was handed a start upfront for the Blues, while Alvaro Morata remained rooted to the foot of the table.

But Chelsea were much more active in this game and they took the lead through Willian's low strike which brushed off James Tomkins on 25 minutes.

That threat on the ball could help Chelsea produce a shock turnaround in the second leg in the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

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One particularly impressive moment in the second half saw him enjoy a sensational solo run through Palace's midfield, before eventually seeing a seemingly goal-bound effort blocked in front of the target. "You hope to kill the game but the players managed the last few minutes in the best way".

- Chelsea posted 27 shots in this game; their most in a Premier League game this season and since May 21 2017 vs Sunderland (28). It was nearly the flawless game, if we didn't concede the goal at the last. He was understudy to Hazard in 2015, when they won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho, and against under Conte past year. The Brazil worldwide shone in the Champions League last-16 first leg at Stamford Bridge when his brilliance deserved more than his solitary goal in the 1-1 draw.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson barely disguised his criticism of striker Christian Benteke, who was taken off at half-time as the return of Wilfried Zaha transformed the visitors.

The win was Chelsea's third in their last nine league games and comes after back-to-back defeats at Manchester United and Manchester City, which have put their Champions League qualification in doubt. "We are playing against one of the best teams in the world so we must pay great attention, having the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona".



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