Saturday, May 8, 2021

Havertz and Pulisic shine as Chelsea put four past Crystal Palace


The London giant’s returned to good form in the Premier League after registering a 4-1 win against Crystal Palace. After facing a humiliating defeat against West Bromwich Albion last time out, Chelsea are back on track.

Thomas Tuchel presented a bit of a changed side to one that faced FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League midweek. Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic in the starting eleven. Moreover, defender Kurt Zouma came in place of Andreas Christensen for the Blues.

From the onset itself, Chelsea put pressure on the Eagles. Roy Hodgson’s men could hardly put together a few passes as Chelsea constantly closed them down. With just eight minutes on the clock, Chelsea fired home.

Kai Havertz played multiple passes on the right combining with Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Havertz quickly got into a good position in the penalty box and Hudson-Odoi found him. A quick turn and the German squeezed in a shot with his left foot.

Havertz in form for Chelsea

The youngster turned provider after just two minutes as he gave the ball to Christian Pulisic. Havertz got behind the Palace players and cut back the ball for the American who took the ball in his stride and fired a fierce shot at the near post from close quarters.

Chelsea had more chances to score in the first half itself as Mason Mount tried to take a shot at the far post but Guaita stopped it. Havertz could’ve scored the goal of the season as he took the ball the first time and lobbed it over the defenders and tried a shot the first time but was denied.

The Blues had a third in their bag as Kurt Zouma scored his fifth of the season. Mason Mount delivered the cross in from the left and the French international rose the highest to get a bullet header.

Christian Pulisic finishes off a fine game for Chelsea

Kai Havertz had yet another glorious opportunity in the early stages of the second half. Mason Mount found him in space and Havertz had only the goalkeeper to beat from some distance out. However, he got the shot straight at Guaita. He should’ve scored from there.

Crystal Palace looked much more confident in the second half and reaped the rewards for the same. Schlupp got ahead of Cesar Azpillecueta and delivered a lovely ball across to Benteke. The Belgian striker got big and shrugged off Ben Chilwell to get the header.

Thomas Tuchel made two defensive changes. Reece James in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi and N’golo Kante for Jorginho. Any lingering doubts Chelsea fans had about the game slipping away were cleared out with the fourth.

Moreover, within minutes of coming on, Reece James had an instant impact. The right wing-back tried to find Havertz with his first-time cross. However, Christian Pulisic tucked it home. Thomas Tuchel is extremely happy with the performance.

We were very strong today, very hungry and aggressive with the ball and off the ball. I am happy with the way we played with possession and I am happy with the positions we found to accelerate the match. “I am absolutely happy with the defensive performance in the opponent’s half, in the first half we were very strong with ball recoveries.


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