Chelsea boost top four hopes with nervy win over Crystal Palace

Olive Hawkins
March 11, 2018

Willian's strike and a Martin Kelly own goal in the first half put the Blues in command but they held out during a nervy period of injury time after Patrick van Aanholt pulled a goal back.

Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League could rest on winning the competition for a second time.

If Hazard is shuffled out wide, though, it begs the question: do you start Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata?

What are the squads for Chelsea vs Crystal Palace match? Defeat in Spain would draw attention to the possibility Chelsea could well be competing in the Europa League next season but Conte's side were not that far away from Barcelona's level at Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman had 81 touches and did not have much of a hard game but did his job when called upon. Giroud came close to turning in a long-range shot from N'Golo Kante and then the French striker headed over.

The introduction of Wilfried Zaha right after the interval provided some influence to Crystal Palace's attack.

The opening goal came from a player Conte has sometimes been reluctant to rely upon, but who has proven highly dependable for Chelsea this season.

Highlights will be posted live as they happen.

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Antonio Conte responded to the back-to-back defeats in Manchester with four changes from our last outing.

The Italian believed that the team deserved a lot of credit for holding a team with enormous attacking potential by limiting their chances and compared the performance against the one with Barcelona.Conte also stated that he will not hesitate to ask Hazard to lead the line once again despite the move being futile so far this season.

"Chelsea could be virtually out of the race for the top four this weekend". Take Manchester City out of the equation and the pair would be engaged in an old-fashioned ding-dong at the top, with the meeting on Saturday being billed as a title showdown. If no route to Hazard's feet can be found he becomes a disillusioned spectator at the head of a toothless team imprisoned in their own half.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on Chelsea's recent poor form: "Normally when you come against a team not having the best of times, that can be a very risky time to play them".

They were excellent against Barcelona though and were unfortunate not to win that game, and will have one eye on Wednesday's return leg. On recent evidence, bravery may well be the best policy.

The Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Premier League match can be seen live on Star Select 1 and Star Select 1 HD.

Palace defended like a team winless in its previous six Premier League outings and did not react tactically to Chelsea's superiority. Palace scored a minute later. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, ineligible here, should also be in position to contribute soon. Today's game provides the ideal opportunity for us to do that, and Antonio Conte has pulled no punches with his team selection.

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