Football Features

Willian and Pulisic prove the difference: Full player ratings as Chelsea beat Palace to move into second

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 14:40, 9 November 2019

In a comfortable afternoon of football, Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Crystal Palace defended stoutly all afternoon long, but a couple of moments of magic from the Blues were all they needed to pick up a win.

Here’s how the players rated at Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea

Kepa Arrizabalaga – 5 – Had basically nothing to do.

Reece James – 7 – A positive display attacking the right-flank, defended aggressively in order to limit Palace’s attacks down his flank, but struggled 1v1 against Zaha.

Kurt Zouma – 7 – Played well. Coped fairly easily with whatever Palace threw at him.

Fikayo Tomori – 7 – A moving brick wall. Nothing phased him, nothing got by him.

Emerson – 6 – Worked hard to provide width. Kept a lid on Andros Townsend.

N’Golo Kanté – 6 – Still not fully up-to-speed after his injury, but a positive display nonetheless.

Mateo Kovacic – 7 – Took control of midfield in Jorginho’s absence. Advanced the ball with the dribble; played some lovely passes as well.

Mason Mount – 6 – Shot every time he saw a sliver of daylight. Worked hard defensively however, making a game-high four blocks.

Willian – 8 – An impressive display (more chances created than anyone on the pitch) capped with an absolutely sublime assist, flicking the ball through for Abraham with his first-touch.

Christian Pulisic – 8 – Chelsea’s main driving force for the game. Always cutting inside and committing Palace defenders with his skill and shooting. Bagged a second goal with an instinctive headed finish.

Tammy Abraham – 7 – Held out of the game for the first-half but sparked things to life in the second with a nice run and cool finish to open the scoring with his 10th goal of the league season. Received a standing ovation when subbed off.

Substitutes:

Michy Batshuayi (for Abraham 73′) – 5 – Wasted a couple of great chances to score Chelsea’s third with some selfish play.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Pulisic 80′) – n/a – Rating text

Billy Gilmour (for Mount 87′) – n/a – Rating text

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Crystal Palace

Vicente Guaita – 6 – Really positive performance from Guaita. Made several saves and could do nothing about the goal.

Joel Ward – 5 – Did okay in the first-half, battling well with Pulisic until he had to go off injured.

James Tomkins – 6 – Mostly solid. Made some crucial interceptions, but missed a fantastic chance to equalise in the second half.

Gary Cahill – 7 – Enormous block at the end of the first half to deny Willian a goal.

Patrick van Aanholt – 6 – Did precious little in attack when Palace needed him to help step up.

Luka Milivojevic – 4 – Didn’t do enough to prevent Chelsea driving through the middle of the pitch.

Cheikhou Kouyate – 5 – Always available to help regain and/or clear the ball, but didn’t do enough in possession.

James McArthur – 7 – Battled well to prevent Chelsea advancing up the middle. A one-man army at times with a game-high 5 tackles. Things got a lot easier for Chelsea after he was subbed off with 20 minutes to go.

Andros Townsend – 5 – A non-event.

Wilfred Zaha – 6 – Palace’s danger-man looked capable of hurting Chelsea but just didn’t get the ball enough.

Jordan Ayew – 5 – Isolated.

Substitutes:

Martin Kelly (for Ward 44′) – 5 – Came on in the first-half but struggled to keep a lid on Christian Pulisic.

Jeffrey Schlupp (for McArthur 70′) – 4 – Was introduced to add attacking power and added none.

James McCarthy (for Kouyaté 82′) – n/a – Did little.

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