Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 1: Willian scores again as champions bounce back

Chelsea

Marcos Alonso almost added to the advantage, prodding a shot wide after Giroud brought a cross down, and a quick free-kick routine from Cesc Fabregas didn't produce any results, as the Blues failed to make the most of their chances. We didn't take a lot of chances we created today.

An own goal from Martin Kelly put the Blues two-up after some wonderful build-up play by the hosts.

Chelsea eventyally made their dominance count in the 24th minute as Willian unleashed a low strike that deflected past Wayne Hennessey. Tottenham, which plays Bournemouth on Sunday, is two points ahead of Chelsea in fourth place.

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

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.

Giroud was presented with an even better opportunity 23 minutes from time, but he could only hit the post from the middle of the box after Marcos Alonso's cut-back, and the former Arsenal man was replaced by Alvaro Morata soon after.

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Although Willian did not manage to add to that, his opener was his fifth in his last five games across all competitions, while he generally caught the eye throughout. 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. It was nearly the flawless game. He's a wonderful footballer who makes us better, but we can't think we'll be fine because he's back, he's one player out of 11.

Against Manchester United and Palace Willian completed eight dribbles in each match, having not completed over seven in any other Premier League game this season.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson insists that he has no regrets about not starting Wilfried Zaha during his side's 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. - Patrick van Aanholt's consolation goal for Palace was the 800th scored in the Premier League this season.

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