Chelsea close in on Champions League spot with 3-2 win at Palace

Reuters New Delhi, India Jul 08, 2020, 12.19 PM(IST)

Giroud breaks the deadlock Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham.

Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham.

The visitors took a two-goal lead inside half an hour through Giroud and Pulisic but Palace responded with a Wilfried Zaha goal before the break. Abraham made it 3-1 after 71 minutes only for Christian Benteke to strike back a minute later.

Palace then piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and in added time defender Scott Dann hit the post while only a last-ditch tackle by Kurt Zouma denied Benteke.

The win took Chelsea up to third, leapfrogging Leicester City who were at Arsenal later on Tuesday, to stand five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who visit Aston Villa on Thursday. Palace stay 15 points clear of the relegation zone.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side went ahead in the seventh minute when former Blues defender Gary Cahill pulled up with an injury, giving Willian all the time he needed to cut the ball back for an easy finish by French striker Giroud.

The visitors doubled their lead 20 minutes later as Willian fed Pulisic on the edge of the box and the American shrugged off his marker Joel Ward to fire a fierce angled shot past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Chelsea looked in complete control and only a fine save by Guaita prevented Willian from adding a third goal after Pulisic burst through the Palace lines.