​Chelsea picked up their sixth win in a row in the Premier League to secure their place in the top four heading into the international break, thanks to goals from Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic against Crystal Palace.

The hosts dominated the opening 25 minutes of the match but struggled to create any real chances at goal, although Vicente Guaita did have to be on his toes to keep out Pulisic's impressive solo effort.

Shots with the last two touches for the first-half from Abraham and Willian were kept out of the back of the net, but it was the first sign that cracks were starting to show in Crystal Palace's defence as both sides went in for the break.

Chelsea needed just six second-half minutes to break the deadlock thanks to a stunning pass from Willian which released Abraham inside the penalty area, and the England international made no mistake from close-range to score his tenth goal in the Premier League this season.

Crystal Palace were spurred on and started to create chances, but they couldn't stop Pulisic putting the icing on the cake for the hosts thanks to a late header with his last touch of the match.

The Blues held out for a comfortable win at Stamford Bridge, albeit frustrating at times, to extend their winning run ahead of the international break with a match against Manchester City also on the horizon.

Christian Pulisic


Key Talking Point

It's been a common thread for Chelsea this season, but Saturday actually saw Frank Lampard name his youngest-ever starting XI in the Premier League so far.

It worked wonders for the Blues throughout the first half as the energy from Chelsea players proved to be too much for the visitors to deal with, but the youngsters struggled to create any clear goalscoring chances.

Tammy Abraham,Christian Pulisic,Willian

It was the experienced Willian who provided the spark to break the deadlock in the second half, and Chelsea were able to hold on to pick up three vital points ahead of their two-week break.

A sixth win in a row for Chelsea in the Premier League makes them the most in-form team in Europe's top five leagues heading into the international break - second is Hoffenheim, who are on a five-game winning run domestically.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Kepa (7); James (8), Zouma (6), Tomori (7), Emerson (6); Kante (6), Kovacic (7), Mount (7); Willian (7), Abraham (7), Pulisic (8*).

Substitutes: Batshuayi (6), Hudson-Odoi (6), Gilmour (N/A).

STAR PLAYER - He didn't hit the ground running when he first joined Chelsea, but Christian Pulisic proved his worth on Saturday with another stunning performance under Frank Lampard.

The USMNT international came close to adding to his four-goal haul already this season, and eventually he was able to add his fifth of the campaign when he raced onto the end of Michy Batshuayi's deflected shot.




Perhaps more impactful, however, was how Pulisic ran rings around Joel Ward and James Tomkins throughout the first half especially, creating goalscoring chances for himself as well as for his teammates - showing a brilliant relationship with Mason Mount specifically.


Key Talking Point

Coming into this matchday against a team who were enjoying a better run of form than any other side in Europe's top five leagues was always going to be difficult for Crystal Palace, but they set up well in the first half and were able to keep chances down to a minimum.

Christian Pulisic,James Tomkins,Sam Woods,Luka Milivojevic

Roy Hodgson's side didn't create nearly enough to pick up points against another one of the Premier League's so-called big six, and the Eagles ultimately deserved to walk away from Stamford Bridge empty-handed.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Guaita (6); Ward (4), Tomkins (5), Cahill (7*), Van Aanholt (5); Kouyate (5), McArthur (5), Milivojevic (6); Townsend (5), Zaha (6), Ayew (5).

Substitutes: Kelly (5), Schlupp (6), McCarthy (6).

STAR PLAYER - It wasn't a vintage performance from Crystal Palace by any stretch, and while Wilfried Zaha looked dangerous in attack and Luka Milivojević impressed in midfield, it was former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill who made the biggest impact.


His vital last-ditch tackle in the first half helped keep the two sides level at the break, while he was helpless to stop Chelsea's opener that came down the other side of the pitch.

Cahill didn't really put a foot wrong and impressed back at his old stomping ground, but ultimately it wasn't enough to help the visitors pick up at least a point.

Looking Ahead

Both sides will get two weeks off while international football takes over, but Frank Lampard will be working hard to prepare his side for their trip to Manchester City when Premier League football returns in two weeks.

Crystal Palace will host league leaders Liverpool.

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