Willian

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings see plenty of players remaining in the upper echelons.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Matchweek 12 was wild, with players from Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City continuing to dominate our top 20. The likes of Ciaran Clark, John Lundstram and Dwight McNeil were so close to cracking the top 20…

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1.  Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – Up 2
2. Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – Up 2
3. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Down 2
4. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – Down 2
5. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester) – New entry
6. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – Up 1
7.  Fabinho (Liverpool) – New entry
8. Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – Down 2
9. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Up 6
10. Willian (Chelsea) – Up 6
11. Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) – New entry
12. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – Down 7
13. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Even
14. Youri Tielemans (Leicester) – Even
15. James Maddison (Leicester) – New entry
16. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – Down 4
17. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – Up 2
18. Fernandinho (Man City) – New entry
19. Matteo Kovacic (Chelsea) – New entry
20. Richarlison (Everton) – New entry

Pulisic watch: USMNT star performs at Palace

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Christian Pulisic put in a Man of the Match display as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

[ MORE: Pulisic injury update ]

Pulisic, 21, scored his fifth goal in his last three Premier League games as he terrified Palace’s defense all game long.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Chelsea’s sixth-straight win ]

Here’s a look at how Pulisic fared as he scored his first goal at Stamford Bridge.


1st minute: Involved after just 20 seconds, as he cuts in from the left after a ball from Willian. Pulisic takes it past three players before setting up a shot for a teammate, which is blocked. Bright start.

7th minute: Mount breaks clear and Pulisic cuts in from the left but drags his shot harmlessly wide.

12th minute: Willian finds Pulisic on the break and he cuts inside brilliantly, completely fooling Joel Ward, but Vicente Guaita does superbly to stand tall and saved his dinked effort. Wonderful skill from the USMNT star.

17th minute: Lovely dummy which finds Emerson and his cross is deflected out for a corner.

20th minute: Some wonderful touches inside the box to evade three Crystal Palace players before eventually being overcrowded. Confidence is flowing for Pulisic.

25th minute: The ball is taken off him in his own defensive third but he does well to put Ward off, as he shanks the cross.

27th minute: Wriggles free in the box much to the delight of the home fans and sets up N’Golo Kante who has a goalbound shot which is blocked. Superb from Pulisic, once again.

37th minute: Wins the ball back in his own half, gets away from his marker and plays the ball back to his defense. A ripple of applause from the home fans, then moments later he cuts inside and starts another attack. His cross to the back post is too deep for Willian.

44th minute: Climbs above the Palace defense to meet Kante’s cross but he heads over.

46th minute: Gets the ball in the box and after a poor touch it bounces up and appears to hit the hand of Palace sub Martin Kelly. Despite the calls for a penalty kick, nothing is given.

56th minute: Springs a Chelsea counter down the left but his ball across the pitch to Willian is cut out by Cahill.

59th minute: After a sensational pass from Kovacic he takes a wonderful first touch and then smashes a shot on goal with Guaita tips over. Palace can’t cope with Pulisic.

67th minute: Cuts in from the left and smashes a wild shot off target. His worst effort of the day.

75th minute: Wriggled free and almost set up Batshuayi but his through ball was cut out.

76th minute: Works back hard to win the ball from Kouyate, as Emerson then fires just wide of the far post.

79th minute: With his final touch of the game he reacts quickly to Michy Batshuayi‘s shot being deflected and heads home bravely. Pulisic is then given a standing ovation off the pitch as the Chelsea fans chant “USA, USA!” A superb outing for Pulisic.

Pulisic leads Chelsea past Crystal Palace

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Chelsea beat a stubborn Crystal Palace side 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, as Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic popped up with second half goals.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Abraham opened the scoring and Pulisic then delivered a late header to cap off a fine individual display.

A sixth-straight Premier League win for Frank Lampard‘s side momentarily pushed them up to second place in the table.


3 things we learned

1. Confident Pulisic in full flow: From the first whistle Pulisic was feeling this and he went close on several occasions before he scored with his last touch of the game. The way he cut inside, dribbled past defenders and let fly was a joy to watch and Palace didn’t know how to handle the 21-year-old from Pennsylvania. Pulisic in full flow is a thing of beauty after his early struggles he’s now scored five PL goals in his last three games and this display was his best so far in a Chelsea shirt.

2. Blues miss Jorginho. Who partners him in midfield? Lampard will have a selection problem after the international break. Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic have played really well together while N’Golo Kante has been out, but Kante and Kovacic played well against Palace on Saturday. Kante is a guaranteed starter and Jorginho has now entered that territory as Chelsea missed his creativity and sublime passing skills against Palace. Kovacic played well but he will probably be the odd man out in central midfield.

3. Zaha frustrated by James: Chelsea teenager Reece James was handed his first PL start and he excelled to keep Wilfried Zaha quiet. The Palace winger was booked in the first half and look frustrated throughout as Palace couldn’t get him the ball and when he did, James timed his tackles superbly. James took his chance.

Man of the Match: Christian Pulisic – There is no American bias here. Pulisic was superb in the first half and then capped his fine display off with a late header before being subbed out to a standing ovation. What a few weeks for the USMNT star.


Chelsea took the game to Palace early on as Reece James’ cross almost caught out Vicente Guaita who had to tip the ball away.

Pulisic then dragged a shot wide as the Blues had most of the possession in the first half, and the USMNT star then bamboozled Joel Ward before forcing Guaita into a fine stop at his near post.

Willian and Emerson flashed free kicks wide and Pulisic then set up N’Golo Kante but his shot was well-blocked. Luka Milivojevic flashed a free kick wide of the far post as Palace struggled to get out of their own half in the first half.

Pulisic headed Kante’s cross over, then Willian’s shot was superbly blocked by Gary Cahill after Guaita had denied Tammy Abraham right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

At the start of the second half Chelsea called for a penalty kick as Pulisic bounced the ball off substitute Martin Kelly, but nothing was given.

Abraham buried his first chance of the game as Kovacic played the ball into Willian and his clever flick found the English striker onside and he slotted home to make it 1-0.

Kovacic then found Pulisic who took a great first touch and sent a powerful effort on goal which Guaita tipped over.

At the other end Milivojevic whipped in a dangerous free kick which found James Tomkins at the back post but he nodded just wide as the ball worked its way through a slew of bodies.

But with his final touch of the game Pulisic headed home after the ball deflected into his path and he scored for the third game running in the Premier League.

PL Preview: Chelsea v. Crystal Palace

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  • Crystal Palace has won 2 of 17 PL fixtures at Chelsea
  • Chelsea has not won 6 straight PL matches since 2017
  • Palace has 8 PL away wins in 2019, third most in the league

A suddenly dilapidated midfield threatens to halt Frank Lampard‘s good form as Chelsea hosts Crystal Palace on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, with kickoff set for 7:30 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

Chelsea’s midfield is banged up, with anchor Jorginho suspended for yellow card accumulation while N’Golo Kante has yet to return from a nagging ankle problem and Mason Mount‘s status is questionable after hobbling off in pain against Ajax midweek. Kante was an unused substitute against Ajax and could be in contention to start in place of Jorginho, but it has been a month since his last appearance and the French international has made just three league starts all year. In addition, Ross Barkley was confirmed to miss the match as the midfield continues to lose bodies.

Still, that seems the only thing in the way of the Blues at the moment, with the club riding high after its wild Champions League comeback midweek that saw them erase a 4-1 second-half deficit and very nearly find the winning stroke. With five straight wins in Premier League play on top of that, this Chelsea team is firing on all cylinders. They have scored 13 goals in those five league victories, and have scored 19 goals in eight matches across all competitions since the start of October.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace has struggled through a brutal October schedule and hopes the turn to November will lift its fortunes. The Eagles have failed to win over its last three league games, with losses to Manchester City and Leicester City plus a draw with Arsenal. Now Palace draws Chelsea on the road before a home date with Liverpool rounds out an absolutely ruthless five-game stretch.

Still, Roy Hodgson has maintained a top ten standing despite the rut, with the club currently sitting ninth on 15 points, two ahead of Manchester United in 10th. The boss will take charge of his 300th Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, becoming the 15th person and sixth Englishman to reach that milestone.

Injuries/suspensions:

Chelsea: OUT – Jorginho (suspended), Antonio Rudiger (hip), Ross Barkley (knock), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles). QUESTIONABLE – Mason Mount (ankle), N’Golo Kante (ankle).

Crystal Palace: QUESTIONABLE – Andros Townsend (muscle), Gary Cahill (head), Cheikhou Kouyate (head), James McArthur (back).


Projected Lineups

Chelsea: Kepa; Emerson, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Kante, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Willian; Abraham.

Crystal Palace: Guaita; van Aanholt, Cahill, Tomkins, Ward; Milivojevic, Kouyate, McCarthy; Zaha, Ayew, Schlupp.


What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Lampard on Ajax draw: “There weren’t too many negatives. Some were freakish and some were on us, goals we don’t like to concede. To come back and to draw the game, we should take the positives. The fans were great. It starts with us.”

Palace boss Hodgson on Lampard: “Frank Lampard has done a very good job, there is no question about that. The club have (also) done a good job in encouraging the manager and his staff to blood some of the players that had previously been out on loan. Everyone at the club deserves a pat on the back for that.”


Prediction

Chelsea is in good form, but injuries have them a bit out of sorts, and the defensive performance against Ajax was a complete disaster. It’s been that way all season long in Premier League play, with just two clean sheets on the top flight season. Eventually, this will come back to haunt them, and with Mason Mount potentially out, those issues could combine to spell defeat. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace has shown well against good Premier League sides the last few weeks, and they are nearing a big result. The Eagles will bag an upset at Stamford Bridge with an impressive 2-1 win that gets Crystal Palace the signature win it has searched for over this brutal stretch of games, while leaving Frank Lampard with some defensive adjustments to make over the international break.

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings see USMNT star Christian Pulisic still flying high in the top five.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Matchweek 11 was a beauty, with players from Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City all present throughout our top 20.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Up 10
2. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) – New entry
3. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – Down 2
4. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – Down 2
5. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – New entry
6. Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – New entry
7. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – New entry
8. Kyle Walker (Man City) – New entry
9. Ben Foster (Watford) – Even
10. Phillip Billing (Bournemouth) – New entry
11. Jorginho (Chelsea) – Up 7
12. Marcus Rashford (Man United) – Down 6
13. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Even
14. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) – Even
15. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Even
16. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) – New entry
17. Willian (Chelsea) – Up 3
18. Leandro Trossard (Brighton) – New entry
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) – New entry
20. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle) – New entry