Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea: Ratings for Chelsea players | Premier League 2018-19
After a bright start to the season, the Blues have fallen off the pace, and are now fighting to finish in the top four. On the other hand, the win against Manchester City would have given Crystal Palace a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season. The Eagles are always a tough nut to crack at home, making it a tough match for Chelsea.
The game was a bit scrappy in the opening stages, with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball. However, as the game progressed, Chelsea got more into the match, and were unlucky to hit the post on two occasions - first from a Willian free-kick, and then an overhead kick by Barkley from a corner.
Palace played some decent football on the break, but could not trouble Kepa in goal. It was a stalemate at halftime, with everything to play for in the second 45 minutes.
Chelsea got the breakthrough at the start of the second half through Kante who beautifully controlled David Luiz's long ball and fired past the Palace goalkeeper. Sarri's side continued to look for the second goal, but could not find any route to break the Palace rear guard.
Towards the fag end of the match, the home side pushed forward for the equaliser, but Chelsea held on to their lead to secure a crucial three away points.
Here are ratings for the Chelsea players.
Kepa - 7/10
The Chelsea Goalkeeper had a relatively quiet day at the office, as Roy Hodgson's side never really managed to trouble the Spaniard.
Azpilicueta - 7.5/10
César had the most daunting task of keeping Wilfried Zaha in check for 90 minutes, and he did it superbly. He couldn't move up the pitch as much as he would have liked, but performed his defensive duties with diligence.
Rudiger - 7/10
Put up a stable defensive performance, and complimented David Luiz well to negate any threat from the Palace attackers. Rudiger used his strength to good effect against the physicality of McArthur and Wickham.
David Luiz - 7/10
David Luiz was solid in defense, and provided the assist for Kante's goal. He stood up tall to deal with the likes of Zaha and Townsend up front.
Alonso - 6/10
The Spaniard often impresses with his performance, but today was not his day. In the first half, Marcos got himself booked after throwing the ball away, and didn't look confident either defensively or in the attack. Alonso tried to play few long balls to Giroud, but they were all over hit.
Kante - 8/10
The goalscorer for Chelsea today, Ngolo delightfully chested down Luiz's ball to break the deadlock in the second half. Playing higher up in the pitch, the Frenchman intercepted the ball well and created a couple of good chances for the forwards as well.
Jorginho - 7/10
Jorginho has been one of Chelsea's better performers this season. He kept things simple today, and didn't let the momentum drop at any point in the game.
Barkley - 7/10
Ross was unlucky not to score in the first half from an overhead kick. He made one immaculate tackle to stop Zaha from shooting in the first half as well. Overall, it was a noteworthy performance from the England international.
Willian - 7.5/10
Though he didn't get the goal, Willian's movement in front of Palace's penalty box was something Roy Hodgson's side struggled to deal with. He was always available to receive the ball, and even forced the Palace goalkeeper to pull off a brilliant save in the first half from a free kick.
Giroud - 6/10
Chelsea's struggle with strikers continues as they are yet to decide on their #1 goal-scoring forward. Giroud was often left isolated in the first half, and didn't get any proper service to score. The Frenchman had the ball in the back of the net two times, but got ruled out for offside on both the occasions.
Hazard - 7.5/10
Eden Hazard looked like someone who could break the Palace rearguard whenever he had the ball. He tried to run at the defenders, and even forced them to commit few mistakes outside the box. One such instance was the free kick in the first half which led to Willian hitting the post.
Morata - 6/10
Alvaro came in during the last quarter of the game to replace the injured Giroud up front. The Spaniard got into a 1-v-1 situation with Sakho at one point in the game, but could not get past the Palace defender. This summed the striker situation at Chelsea.
Emerson & Kovacic - 6/10
Both came on very late in the game, and did their best to stop Palace from scoring the equaliser.