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Crystal Palace 1-4 Chelsea

Chelsea produced a near-perfect first half display on their way to a big win at Crystal Palace to return to the top four.

A quick-fire double from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic had Chelsea two up inside 10 minutes, the German languidly curling in the opener before the American smashed in a high near-post finish.

Having dropped to sixth following Liverpool’s late victory over Aston Villa, Chelsea flew out of the blocks in search of a reaction to their shock 5-2 defeat to West Brom.

In a game where he could have had five, Havertz showed some of the quality that has too often missing with his 8th minute goal, before he assisted Pulisic with a cut back two minutes later, who finished in similar style to his Selhurst Park strike last season.

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Chelsea looked out of sight by the 30th minute when Kurt Zouma got above former-teammate Gary Cahill to head home a Mason Mount freekick.

The 3-0 half-time lead did not flatter Chelsea, with sharp Vicente Guaita saves and a goal-line clearance from Patrick van Aanholt keeping the score down.

Palace improved after the break and pulled one back in the 63rd minute with their first attempt.

Christian Benteke beat Ben Chilwell to a Jeffrey Schlupp cross to head in his first home goal since the same fixture last season.

But after a period of slight discomfort Pulisic secured the points when he slammed in his 78th minute second at the back post from Reece James’ deflected cross.

Chelsea’s top four rivals Leicester and West Ham meet tomorrow.

Click here for the report on Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Porto in midweek.

Click here for more football coverage and click here for wider sport.

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April 2024