The scoreline may give the impression Chelsea squeezed out a second successive win in their travels but, in reality, Maurizio Sarri’s team may not enjoy too many away victories as comfortable as this. One flash of quality was all it took to claim the spoils across south London and open up a five point gap from fifth place. Crystal Palace failed to muster a single shot on target all afternoon. They never discovered whether the visitors were fragile or not.
This had been desperately humdrum until N’Golo Kanté, his head coach’s half-time instructions presumably still ringing in his ears, injected some impetus early in the second half. Chelsea had been probing, David Luiz sizing up his options in possession inside Palace’s half, when the France midfielder took it upon himself to dart behind and away from Cheikh Kouyaté and between Patrick van Aanholt and Mamadou Sakho to the edge of the six-yard box. David Luiz’s lofted pass was perfectly weighted, with Kanté collecting neatly on his chest and steering his close-range finish in beyond Vicente Guaita’s outstretched left hand.
Written by Dominic Fifield at Selhurst Park
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/dec/30/crystal-palace-chelsea-premier-league-match-report under the title “N’Golo Kanté tightens Chelsea’s grip on top four with winner at Crystal Palace”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.