Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Blues bat back Pulis’ Palace

143701671_chelsea_490809cCrystal Palace made difficult work for Chelsea as the Blues scraped through a victory at Stamford Bridge.  Tony Pulis had Palace looking like a new side, filled with fight and resilience.

Fernando Torres put Chelsea ahead fifteen minutes into the match.  The striker pounced on the opportunity to convert off of Willian’s powerful rebounded shot.

Then, in the 29th minute, Marouane Chamakh brought Palace back level with a precise volleyed shot.  Joel Ward swung in low cross from the left wing, after taking the ball off of Chelsea in their own half.  The cross fell knee-high to Chamakh who placed it low in the far corner with great control.  The goal marks the third in three games for the former Arsenal striker.  His form can only logically be traced back to the arrival of Tony Pulis, who has his new front-man firing on all cylinders.

His goal would not keep Palace level for long though.  Just over five minutes later, some clever build up play from Hazard and Willian allowed an opportunity for a decisive goal.  Ramires brought the lead back to the Blues with a curled shot that bent around the keeper.

Going into half, no one could have guessed they’d have seen the end of the matches goals.  With end to end action, both sides looked likely to strike again.  However, neither side managed to make a further impact on the game.

Crystal Palace did take the play to Chelsea though, hammering testing balls forward that exposed the Blue’s defensive ineptitude.  Peter Cech deserved a man of the match shout for denying a flurry of chances and retaining the three points for his manager and club.

ramiresget_2765790bAfter the win, Chelsea now sit two points behind Arsenal.  Considering how inconsistent and poor Chelsea’s form has been this season, it’s amazing to consider that they still are in a position to win both the Premier League and the Champions League.

Obviously to do so would be a tall order.  However, Chelsea have yet to show the true potential their squad possesses this season.  Perhaps, the squad will show their best form after January.  For now, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will be content with the victory and will need to turn their focus to their League Cup quarter-final on Tuesday against Sunderland.