Chelsea did well to beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening and thus climb up to second on the table ahead of Liverpool on goal difference who drew 1-1 with Arsenal on Saturday.
These three key things were observed from the game
1. MORATA PROVING HE COULD BE THE REAL DEAL
Alvaro Morata scored a brace in this game, and his performance today is the best we’ve seen of him this season. Morata could easily have scored a hat-trick late in the game but his failed lop over the keeper denied him the chance that could have given Chelsea a 4-1 win.
Besides his goals and miss, Morata looked lively and sharp, his movements were good and his finishing and positioning was very good as well. Morata has now scored four goals in his last five games, and he’s now looking to be the striker that made Chelsea pay about £60m for him.
2. HAZARD IS STILL KEY
The game against Crystal Palace was looking like it’ll end in a fourth league draw this season for Chelsea after Andros Townsend scored the equaliser for the Eagles eight minutes after the restart.
Chelsea couldn’t find a way past what looked like a tough Palace defence, but the Blues looked a different side when Eden Hazard was introduced and just a minute after his introduction he assisted Morata’s second goal. Hazard only highlighted his importance to the team and the Belgian who’s having a good season is looking like he’ll carry this team on his back for the title.
3. FULLBACKS NEED TO ADAPT
Crystal Palace’s first real threat to Chelsea’s goal ended up with the ball in the net and this highlights one major thing we’ve been saying all season – we need to improve our defence.
While Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz have forged a good understanding in centre half, our full-backs are yet to fully complement the team. Chelsea have played with wing-backs for the past two seasons under Antonio Conte, but Sarri has brought the team back to playing with fullbacks, and it seems Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso haven’t fully blended with the rest of the team. Alonso might be good offensively, but he lets his team down at the back, while Cesar might be solid at the back but he has often failed to bombard the right flank going forward – and this was evident in today’s game.