A solid showing from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic saw Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in a Premier League encounter on Saturday (April 10).
A solid showing from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic saw Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in a Premier League encounter on Saturday (April 10). Havertz recorded a goal and an assist while Pulisic chipped in with two goals. The result means Chelsea move back into fourth place in the Premier League standings. The move may be short-lived, however, as West Ham can reclaim that spot should they beat Leicester City on Sunday. Nevertheless, the result constitued a fine comeback for Thomas Tuchel’s men. Their previous league encounter saw them shockingly thrased 5-2 by relegation strugglers West Brom. However, they have since recorded two convincing wins – a 2-0 win against Porto in the Champions League and now this.
That Havertz and Pulisic played such an instrumental role in the win is doubly positive. Pulisic has struggled for consistency this season, thanks in no small part to a number of niggling injuries.
Havertz, meanwhile, has struggled to settle in since his record move from Bayer Leverkusen. Yet on Saturday he showeed glimpses of why Chelsea forked out £70M for his services.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 10, 2021
Chelsea started on the front foot, pinning Palace back early and moving the ball swiftly. A move down the right wing looked to have fizzled, but the ball found its way to Havertz who slotted home a calm left-foot finish to give the visitors the lead in the eighth minute.
He followed this by breaking into space two minutes later down the left and fizzing a low ball in. Pulisic took one touch and rifled home at the near post. 2-0 with only 10 minutes gone.
Palace didn’t show much improvement and Chelsea’s confidence kept growing. That they added a third goal was no surprise. Mason Mount played a free-kick into a dangerous area and Kurt Zouma rose high to head home.
Palace found some fluency in the second half and were rewarded when Christian Benteke pulled one back. Yet the reprieve was temporary. Pulisic added a second from close range in the 78th minute to seal the game.
Thomas Tuchel: “I am happy with the way we played in possession and the positions we found to accelerate the match. I am happy with the defensive performance in the opponents’ half, especially first half.
“We were very strong with ball recoveries, so overall it was a well-deserved win with a strong performance that should improve our self-confidence.”
Roy Hodgson: “Of course the quality of players that they have, when you are 3-0 down at half-time, which we were deservedly, you are definitely staring down the barrel of a gun.
“Fortunately we didn’t capitulate, fortunately we didn’t lose heavier than by four goals to one. But it was a very bad defeat, albeit against a very good team.”