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Conte lauds Willian as Chelsea set sights on Barcelona

11 March 2018

The lead was doubled six minutes later when Martin Kelly diverted Davide Zappacosta's low cross into his own net, 2-0. He was able to include Mamadou Sakho and Wilfried Zaha on the bench again after injury.

Giroud then rattled the Palace upright following yet another quality set-up play on 66 minutes.

Roy Hodgson refuses to believe that Chelsea's current calamities have made them extra vulnerable to an upset at home to his Crystal Palace side.

Chelsea returned to winning ways with a much-needed, morale-boosting 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

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A left-footed Patrick van Aanholt shot was comfortably saved by the Belgian.

Nine of Palace's 27 league goals this season have been scored in the final 15 minutes of their games (33%). But The Blues finally played like they know how, and at times they resembled the team that won the league title less than 12 months ago.

The Dane finished the game with a pass accuracy of 97%. The Blues dominated the game nearly entirely, created the best chances throughout the game, and didn't give Palace the chance to come back in the second half.

On the plus side, Zaha's introduction transformed their attacking threat in the second half, and the Ivory Coast global appears ready to be at his talismanic best in the decisive final weeks of the season.

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"The game [against Barcelona] will be totally different".

Despite having two shots, Alonso did not have a significant contribution as he had only 69 touches and put in only one accurate cross in the box.

Crystal Palace possible XI: Hennessey, Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, McArthur, Milivojevic, Townsend, Soerloth, Schlupp, Benteke.

He had another great chance following the counter-attack he started but was denied by Tomkins. Chelsea, fifth in the standings, were in control. Hazard's ability to create havoc in the Palace defence was a joy to watch and his selflessness in constantly working the ball to Giroud was commendable.

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Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso are likely to don the wing-back roles on either side. The French striker was replaced by Alvaro Morata in the 72nd minute but may have pushed himself into contention for a start at the Camp Nou. Olivier Giroud twice came very close to adding a third, with Eden Hazard and Willian also among those denied.

Conte lauds Willian as Chelsea set sights on Barcelona