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Crystal Palace 1-4 Chelsea: Dominant Blues seal Champions League spot as Pulisic bags a brace and Kai Havertz stars

Chelsea climb into the Premier League’s top four following a dominant victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

First-half goals from Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Kurt Zouma put the Blues in control.

They were inspired by one of the men Tuchel’s words represented a challenge to, Kai Havertz, who impressed as a roaming false nine, who scored once – just his second league goal of the season and first since October – and setting up the first of two goals for the equally influential Christian Pulisic.

Christian Benteke gave Palace hope climbing above Chilwell to head in sub Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.

After the break, but Pulisic’s second goal of the day put the contest beyond any doubt.

Crystal Palace were accommodating hosts, certainly for the first hour, but most sides would have struggled against Chelsea in this mood with Mason Mount another star performer in midfield.

They were on it from the first whistle from back to front erring just the once when Palace scored a 63rd minute consolation from their only attempt on goal.

After their shock blip against West Brom Chelsea are back on track and back where they and Tuchel need to be, with one foot in the Champions League semis too.

Jorginho picked him out with a ball over the top which Havertz controlled and lifted over the incoming Patrick Van Aanholt with one jaw-dropping touch.

All that was missing was the finish, Havertz’s volley as the ball dropped just too close to Guaita.

There was a Chelsea scream of anguish at the moment of magic narrowly missed but also widespread applause from the Blues contingent in the stands, fully appreciating the first piece of skill they had just witnessed.

Chelsea then added the third their dominance deserved, a towering Kurt Zouma header from Mount’s free-kick.

They might have had two more before half-time but Guaita repelled Mount and Antonio Rudiger had a header nodded off the line by Van Aanholt.

Palace had a little more of the ball in Chelsea territory after the restart – not hard some might say – but it was Tuchel’s side who continued to look like most likely scorers, the raiding Chilwell off target twice.

Havertz had a couple of sniffs of goal as did Mount and Pulisic before the American tapped in James deflected cross at the back post to eventually restore Chelsea’s three-goal cushion.

Havertz should have doubled his tally too but was foiled once more by Guaita. Four was more than enough for Chelsea.

The Blues welcome Porto for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Tuesday, holding a 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are not in action again until April 26, when they travel to Leicester City.

John NM
John is a web developer, Internet marketer and Editorial staff at NOUN Portal and Sportstribunal .
https://nounportalng.com

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