Chelsea's N'Golo Kante celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal.(REUTERS)
Chelsea's N'Golo Kante celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal.(REUTERS)

N’Golo Kante’s goal secures Crystal Palace coup for Chelsea

Kante’s effectiveness this season has been questioned, but the former Leicester City man impressed as he struck the 51st minute match-winner that helped the Blues tighten their grip on fourth by opening up a five-point gap to Arsenal.
By Agence France-Presse | London
UPDATED ON DEC 30, 2018 11:42 PM IST

N’Golo Kante showed signs he is growing into his more advanced midfield role with a composed finish that gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has been criticised for moving Kante out of his more familiar position in front of the back four, with Jorginho filling the holding role.

As a result, Kante’s effectiveness this season has been questioned, but the former Leicester City man impressed as he struck the 51st minute match-winner that helped the Blues tighten their grip on fourth by opening up a five-point gap to Arsenal.

Kante followed a perfectly timed run to meet David Luiz’s chipped pass with a clinical finish to cap a dominant display by Sarri’s side against London rivals Palace.

Chelsea’s failure to add to Kante’s third league goal of the season will have given Sarri some concern, though, and would have proved costly had Palace substitute Connor Wickham not skied a late chance over the bar.

The Italian manager reshaped his forward line by including Olivier Giroud as the central striker -- a decision that handed Alvaro Morata another reminder of his place in the strikers’ pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard was among the substitutes, while Giroud’s inclusion freed Eden Hazard from his recent duties as a false nine, allowing the Belgium international to return to his more familiar position on the left of the front three.

But despite dominating, particularly in the second half, Chelsea’s chances remained limited.

- Hazard warning -

Hazard quickly made the most of his freedom to drift in from the flank, testing the Palace defence with a number of runs from deep.

The Belgian’s 34th-minute run towards the home penalty area drew a foul from Cheikhou Kouyate and led to the game’s first real opportunity.

READ: Gerard Pique’s investment group Kosmos takes over FC Andorra

Willian’s curling free-kick from 25 yards took a deflection off the defensive wall before clipping the outside of Vicente Guaita’s right-hand post.

The Palace goalkeeper did well to punch the resulting corner clear, but Willian almost caught the Spaniard out with a fierce low shot from distance.

This passage of play suggested Chelsea were beginning to assert themselves but Palace’s belief had clearly been strengthened by their victory at champions Manchester City eight days previously.

The home side appeared happy to concede territory in the hope of hitting Chelsea on the break and it was little surprise the game remained locked in stalemate at half-time.

It did not take long, however, for Sarri’s side to breach the Palace defence at the start of the second half with Luiz injecting the moment of creativity needed to find a way through.

The centre-back was allowed time to pick his pass and his perfectly weighted chip fell into the path of Kante who had made a positive run towards the penalty spot.

The France international controlled the ball on his chest before hitting a left-foot shot that flew wide of Guaita’s dive.

Having dominated long periods of the game before the goal, Chelsea assumed total control after Kante’s opening goal.

Guaita was called to save yet again from Willian after the Brazilian was set up by a clever Hazard backheel before Giroud saw his second effort of the game ruled out for offside.

Wickham’s 89th-minute chance gave Sarri’s side a late scare but this was a comfortable Chelsea win.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Robert Lewandowski celebrates his hat-trick. (Getty Images)
Robert Lewandowski celebrates his hat-trick. (Getty Images)

Lewandowski hat-trick steers Bayern past Dortmund 4-2

Reuters, Munich
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:03 AM IST
  • Bayern Munich roared back from two goals down to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2.
Close
Juventus moved to 52 points. (Juventus FC/Twitter)
Juventus moved to 52 points. (Juventus FC/Twitter)

Morata double fires Juventus to comeback win over Lazio

Reuters, Turin
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:58 AM IST
  • Morata helped Juventus come from behind to beat Lazio 3-1 in Serie A.
Close
Lionel Messi set up goals scored by Jordi Alba and teenager Ilaix Moriba.(Getty Images)
Lionel Messi set up goals scored by Jordi Alba and teenager Ilaix Moriba.(Getty Images)

Messi grabs two assists as Barcelona march on with victory at Osasuna

Reuters, Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:01 AM IST
  • Messi helped Barca take the lead on the half-hour mark when he carved open Osasuna's defence with a superb cross-field ball to Alba, who controlled before blasting into the roof of the net.
Close
Daniel Amartey of Leicester City celebrates with Youri Tielemans after scoring the team's second goal. (Getty Images)
Daniel Amartey of Leicester City celebrates with Youri Tielemans after scoring the team's second goal. (Getty Images)

Leicester turn up heat in top-four race

Reuters, Brighton
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:49 AM IST
  • Daniel Amartey's 88th-minute header completed a comeback win for Leicester who stretched their unbeaten away run to 10 games.
Close
NortEast vs ATK Mohun Bagan(ISL)
NortEast vs ATK Mohun Bagan(ISL)

Sylla’s late intervention keeps NorthEast level against Bagan

By Bhargab Sarmah
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:56 PM IST
  • The draw also extended NorthEast unbeaten run this season to 11, with 10 of those coming under interim head coach Khalid Jamil. The 43-year-old Indian coach made three changes to the side that had won 2-0 against Kerala Blasters in their last league game of the campaign.
Close
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Getafe - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain - February 9, 2021 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Getafe - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain - February 9, 2021 Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File photo(REUTERS)

Benzema back for Real in time for derby showdown at Atletico

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:05 PM IST
Benzema has been out since injuring a muscle after scoring in a 2-0 win over Valencia on Feb. 14. Real have managed only one goal per game in the three matches he has missed, failing to score in the first half each time and relying on players such as Casemiro and Ferland Mendy to score instead.
Close
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta: File photo(Pool via REUTERS)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta: File photo(Pool via REUTERS)

Improving Arsenal have long way to go, says Arteta

Reuters
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:48 PM IST
Arsenal have turned their season around after a torrid start, winning seven of their last 12 Premier League games and netting 22 goals, having managed just 12 goals in their first 14 fixtures.
Close
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino reacts after missing a scoring chance during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield stadium in Liverpool.(AP)
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino reacts after missing a scoring chance during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield stadium in Liverpool.(AP)

Champions Liverpool keep sinking after fifth Anfield defeat in a row

By Bhargab Sarmah, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:01 AM IST
  • Chelsea dominated Thursday’s game and could have had more goals to add to Mason Mount’s exquisite first-half strike that turned out to be the match-winner.
Close
FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC
FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC

ISL semi-final: FC Goa draw with Mumbai City in the first leg

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:01 AM IST
  • FC Goa attacked Dessai through Saviour Gama before twinkle-toed Jorge Ortiz tested him. By the 17th minute, Dessai had been caught out thrice; the last time because of a poor pass which Alexander Jesuraj intercepted needing a tackle from Vignesh Dakshinamurthy that could have been a penalty.
Close
The 52-year-old Juergen Klinsmann(REUTERS)
The 52-year-old Juergen Klinsmann(REUTERS)

Thomas Muller role model for Bayern Munich: Klinsmann

By Bhargab Sarmah
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 09:57 PM IST
  • Muller wouldn’t feature regularly that season but he went on to score in the Champions League knockout stages coming on as a substitute against Sporting Lisbon.
Close
Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - March 4, 2021 Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths(Pool via REUTERS)
Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Chelsea - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - March 4, 2021 Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths(Pool via REUTERS)

Tuchel says Chelsea players deserve praise for resurgence

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 08:36 PM IST
"I'm flattered but I'll just give the flowers to the players and to the club," Tuchel, whose side are unbeaten in his 10 games in charge in all competitions, told reporters ahead of Monday's league clash against Everton.
Close
Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala(REUTERS)
Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala(REUTERS)

Midfielder Jamal Musiala signs with Bayern Munich to 2026

AP
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:54 PM IST
  • Musiala has been making steady progress since he joined Bayern’s under-17 team from Chelsea in 2019. He has made 27 appearances for the first team, scoring four goals.
Close
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah walks past manager Juergen Klopp after being substituted off.(Pool via REUTERS)
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah walks past manager Juergen Klopp after being substituted off.(Pool via REUTERS)

Salah was feeling the intensity, Klopp says after Chelsea defeat

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 01:28 PM IST
Klopp took off Salah, the league's leading scorer with 17 goals, for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 62nd minute when Liverpool were hunting an equaliser after Mason Mount had given Chelsea the lead in the first half.
Close
Barcelona's Gerard Pique.(REUTERS)
Barcelona's Gerard Pique.(REUTERS)

Barcelona defender Piqué out with right knee injury

AP, Barcelona
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:27 AM IST
The defender scored four minutes into second-half stoppage time to force extra time and help the team advance to the final.
Close
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates with Hugo Lloris after the match.(Pool via REUTERS)
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates with Hugo Lloris after the match.(Pool via REUTERS)

Tottenham edge past Fulham thanks to Adarabioyo own goal

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:53 AM IST
Victory dragged Tottenham back into the race for a Champions League spot with Jose Mourinho's eighth-placed side on 42 points from 26 matches, four points behind Everton in fourth, ahead of Sunday's clash with Crystal Palace.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP