EPL

Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace: Abraham reaches 10 Premier League goals as Lampard's men go second

By Sports Desk November 09, 2019

Tammy Abraham scored his 10th Premier League goal for Chelsea as they secured a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The 22-year-old striker became the youngest Blues player to reach double figures in the Premier League since Arjen Robben when he swept home following a clever Willian pass.

Chelsea had found clear-cut chances hard to come by against a stubborn Palace side, whose manager Roy Hodgson was taking charge of his 300th game in England's top flight.

Abraham's cool finish broke the deadlock, though, before a simple header from Christian Pulisic made certain of a sixth league win in a row for Frank Lampard's side.

Chelsea, whose starting line-up was their youngest in Premier League history at an average age of 24 years and 88 days, certainly started the more exuberantly of the teams and could have gone ahead when Pulisic was denied by Vicente Guaita after turning past Joel Ward.

Palace were not offering much of an attacking threat, but they did seem to have the Chelsea forward line under increasing control, although only a brilliant block from Gary Cahill stopped former team-mate Willian turning the ball in with seconds of the first half left.

Palace's resistance was broken seven minutes after the restart, though, Abraham slotting confidently past Guaita after being played through by a fine reverse pass from Willian.

Pulisic was then denied by a flying save from Guaita, but the visitors spurned a great chance to level when James Tomkins nodded wide from just seven yards out.

It proved a costly miss as, with 11 minutes to go, Pulisic nodded the ball past Guaita for his first goal at Stamford Bridge after Michy Batshuayi's shot was blocked.

 

What does it mean? Chelsea up to second thanks to best form since Conte

Chelsea's victory moves them above Manchester City into second place in the table, with the champions a point behind ahead of their trip to leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

Lampard's side seem likely to stay near the top, too – they have won six league matches in a row for the first time since May 2017, when Antonio Conte guided them to the title.

Willian still holds the key for Chelsea

Much has rightly been made of youngsters Abraham, Mason Mount and latterly Pulisic, but it is hard to dispute that Willian remains Chelsea's most important attacking player.

The Brazil international, captain for the day, created four goalscoring chances – including his assist - and completed 95 per cent of his passes.

Zaha sums up toothless Palace

Palace are a disciplined side but goalscoring remains a concern. They offered almost nothing in attack against Chelsea, with Wilfried Zaha generally unable to influence matters going forward, creating one chance and having no attempts on goal.

What's next?

Chelsea return from the international break with a daunting trip to Manchester City on November 23. Palace do not have things any easier: they host Liverpool on the same day.

Related items

  • Vancouver Whitecaps 3-4 San Jose Earthquakes: MLS thriller settled by 98th-minute winner Vancouver Whitecaps 3-4 San Jose Earthquakes: MLS thriller settled by 98th-minute winner

    Shea Salinas scored a fine individual goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time as San Jose Earthquakes produced a stunning comeback to beat Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 in the MLS is Back Tournament.

    The Earthquakes trailed the Whitecaps 3-1 after 59 minutes in Orlando, Florida and were staring at their first Group B defeat on Wednesday.

    But the Earthquakes – who drew their opening match – rallied midweek thanks to veteran striker Chris Wondolowski, Oswaldo Alanis and substitute Salinas' memorable 98th-minute solo run.

    Opening their MLS is Back Tournament campaign, the Whitecaps made a fine start as they raced out to a 2-0 lead at Walt Disney World resort.

    Ali Adnan's curled effort from the top of the penalty area put the Whitecaps ahead in the seventh minute before a Judson own goal following a swift counter-attack doubled Vancouver's lead 15 minutes later.

    The Earthquakes gave themselves some hope on the stroke of half-time when Andres Rios reduced the deficit, only for Cristian Dajome to restore Vancouver's two-goal buffer approaching the hour-mark following a goalkeeping error.

    Wondolowski came off the bench and kept San Jose in the contest with 18 minutes remaining – the league's all-time leading scorer improving his tally to 160.

    The Earthquakes then drew level through Alanis nine minutes later before Salinas' moment of magic completed the breathtaking comeback.

  • Man Utd boss Solskjaer questions Chelsea's extra rest ahead of FA Cup semi: It's not fair Man Utd boss Solskjaer questions Chelsea's extra rest ahead of FA Cup semi: It's not fair

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said it is "not fair" Chelsea have been afforded 48 hours more rest ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final showdown.

    United will meet rivals Chelsea at Wembley for a place in the decider, not before facing Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Thursday.

    Chelsea will enter the FA Cup clash having not played since Tuesday and Solskjaer questioned the scheduling as United also try to qualify for the Champions League.

    "There is a concern, obviously, that they will have had 48 hours' more rest and recovery than us," Solskjaer told a news conference on the eve of the Palace fixture.

    "It's not fair. We spoke about a fair scheduling going into this restart and of course it isn't.

    "But I have to think about Thursday [against Crystal Palace], winning that one, focusing on that one, and then pick up the pieces after that."

    United will take on Palace amid an 18-game unbeaten streak across all competitions following Monday's last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to Southampton.

    The Red Devils missed the chance to climb above Chelsea and Leicester City into third position – United now fifth with three games remaining.

    With United's season and future plans on the line, Solskjaer is confident his team can cope with the physical demands.

    "We've not really played every three days but we definitely will now," said Solskjaer. "The next two weeks will be hectic but then again we're fit, very fit – our lads have not felt as fit as this for years, I'm sure.

    "It was a big thing towards the end of last season that we felt our team wasn't fit enough, we got a few injuries, this season we've not had that kind of a problem. It's not going to be a problem and a concern for us but 24 hours, 48 hours is a big difference at this time [of the season] so we've not been handed four Aces, to put it that way, for the last two weeks."

    United are set to make changes against Palace after Luke Shaw picked up an ankle injury last time out, while Paul Pogba – who has starred alongside Bruno Fernandes – could be rested.

    "I've been speaking more or less every day with Paul, he knows that he wouldn't be dropped," said Solskjaer. "When Paul plays like this he wouldn't be dropped from any team in the world – France or Man United – but he's been out for a long, long time, there was a question mark before the game [against Southampton], 'How do you feel?' But he felt ready for it, which was great, so now let's see how he is.

    "He's been fantastic since the restart and brought a lot to the team. There were one or two question marks before the Southampton game about who was going to play but we made the decision that we did."

  • Berbatov criticises 'unprofessional and disrespectful' Real Madrid outcast Bale Berbatov criticises 'unprofessional and disrespectful' Real Madrid outcast Bale

    Dimitar Berbatov has hit out at Real Madrid's Gareth Bale for his "unprofessional and disrespectful" behaviour in the Spanish capital.

    Bale has found himself out of favour at Madrid, with the star forward playing just 100 minutes of LaLiga action since the league returned from its three-month hiatus in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The four-time Champions League winner sparked uproar when he was seen on camera with his face mask over his eyes before turning and laughing with team-mates from the stands during Madrid's 2-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves last week.

    Bale – a substitute – then simulated holding a pair of binoculars in front of his face while he watched Madrid's 2-1 win at Granada and former Tottenham team-mate Berbatov criticised the Welsh outcast.

    "Gareth Bale is in the headlines again for pretending to sleep in the stands when he found out he was going to be an unused substitute against Granada," Berbatov wrote in his column for Betfair.

    "When I saw it, I couldn't believe it. I watched him put his mask over his eyes and pretend to be asleep. I cannot support that. It is unprofessional and disrespectful to Real Madrid.

    "I love watching Bale play and I can feel his pain at not playing because I have been in the same situation. But that kind of reaction is going too far.

    "Madrid need to find a solution to the Bale saga. It's not good for Bale or the team and it is bad publicity. I do feel his pain, I have been in his shoes of not playing and nobody is probably giving him any answers, then you are provoked to do those kinds of things, but I cannot support what he did.

    "The only solution is for Bale to leave Real Madrid. If I was a Real Madrid fan and saw a player disrespecting the team like that, it would be too much. Bale should be asking for a solution, even if it is a loan move. It was a show of power, it was if he was saying: 'Play me or I'll do whatever I want.' That doesn't sit right with me."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.