Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic’s second half strikes sent Frank Lampard’s Chelsea second in the Premier League, for now at least.

Abraham’s neat finsih seven minutes after the break sent the Blues on their way as Pulisic’s close-range header capped off a routine win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s youngsters dominated Roy Hodgson’s side from start to finish but were made work their victory despite the Eagles managing just the one strike on target late on.

A third defeat in four for Hodgson’s side sees them stay in ninth.

Early Pattern

The game was just seconds old before the pattern emerged.

Palace were happy to sit back and absorb the onslaught that would be the speedy Chelsea front line.

It was the 11th minute they had their first real opening as Pulisic brilliantly tiptoed his way past two defenders before seeing his effort excellently smothered by the faultless Vicente Guaita in goal.

Well on top but finding it difficult to cut through a Gary Cahill marshalled defence, Chelsea played a lot of their football in the middle third, hassled and harried by the ever-willing James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic.

Brazilian pair Willian and Emerson saw free-kicks go close but neither forced Guaita into action.

Going forward Palace found it difficult to get the lonely Jordan Ayew any support with Wilfried Zaha’s needless yellow card the only contribution of note from the Ivorian in the first 45.

Joel Ward who battled well against Pulisic down the left hobbled off just before the break, replaced by the even less adventurous but solid Martin Kelly.

As the half-time approached, Cahill almost certainly denied Willian from close range with a superb block from six-yards after a vicious Reece James ball in.  

Abraham breaks deadlock

The deadlock was broken soon after the re-start as Abraham, relatively quiet up until now, gave Willian’s deft flick through the finish it deserved from the angle.

Chelsea would’ve doubled their lead moments later were it not for an acrobatic save from Guaita to deny Pulisic’s long-range effort.

Forced to come out and attack, Hodgson’s men ventured forward with wingers Zaha and Andros Townsend becoming more prominent.

James Tomkins should’ve levelled the score on 70minutes, but saw his header drift wide after Milivojevics cross eluded everyone to find the defender alone at the back post.

As the Eagles looked to be getting into their stride Pulisic pounced.

Off the bench former Palace man Michy Batshuayi saw his effort blocked but kindly bounce up in the American’s path to head home past an already committed Guaita.

Palace continued in vain to find a consolation as substitute James McCarthy saw their best chance easily saved by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrixabalaga.



Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson, Kante, Kovacic, Mount(Mount 87’), Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi 80’), Willian, Abraham (Batshuayi 72’)

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Azpilicueta, Gilmour

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward (Kelly 44’), Cahill, Tomkins, van Aanholt, Milivojevic, McArthur(Schlupp 70’), Kouyate (McCarthy 80’), Townsend, Zaha, Ayew.

Subs: Hennessey, Dann, Schlupp, Benteke, McCarthy, Riedewald, Kelly.

Attendance: 40,525