Willian

Lampard on Pulisic
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Lampard: ‘We should have killed the game off’ at Palace; praises Pulisic, Willian

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Frank Lampard’s Chelsea continues to put the pressure on its top four combatants.

The Blues won again on Tuesday, an uneven but potent performance that produced a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The goals were there but the defense a question mark. Kepa Arrizabalaga made a great late save after allowing an ugly goal earlier, while Kurt Zouma stormed into the box to tackle Wilfried Zaha with the win on the line in stoppage time.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch — Minute-by-minute v. Palace ]

Was Chelsea fortunate?

“In the last few minutes, maybe,” Lampard said. “We should have killed the game off. Some slight wrong decisions. Kepa makes a great save, Kurt a great tackle.”

Lampard hailed his wings after Willian and Christian Pulisic again starred in the Chelsea kit. Pulisic has three goals and has drawn two penalties in five PL outings during Project Restart, while Willian has four goals and two assists in that span.

CRYSTAL PALACE – CHELSEA FULL MATCH REPLAY

It’s becoming a trend to hear Frank Lampard’s answers to questions about Pulisic, as the winger has been tremendous for Chelsea since the return from the coronavirus pause.

He scored on Tuesday, his eighth Premier League, belting a left-footed shot past the flailing Vicente Guaita to make it 2-0.

“I knew the talent that Christian has. It’s a physical league and he has come in and been great for us. The quality for us and the end product is great.”

Chelsea’s 60 points will be good enough for third if Arsenal holds on to beat Leicester City on Tuesday (The Gunners are ahead early on a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal).

The Blues face Sheffield United, Norwich City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Wolves to finish the season.

Chelsea cruises past relegation-worried Watford

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Chelsea got goals from Willian, Ross Barkley, and Olivier Giroud in a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic drew a penalty for Willian’s goal and helped set up Barkley’s third goal in his fourth-straight start in 10 days.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch – USMNT star shines again ]

Chelsea moves back atop Manchester United for fourth place, one point behind Leicester City.

Watford’s 28 points are one point better than two of the bottom three, with Aston Villa holding a match-in-hand and set to visit Liverpool on Sunday.

[ MORE: Pulisic reacts to Hazard comparisons ]


Three things we learned

1. Chelsea holds serve in top four fight: Wins for Manchester United and Leicester City meant the Blues could finish the day in either fourth or fifth. The decisive performance was a welcome one for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard following a late loss at West Ham earlier in the week. The Blues meet Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, and Norwich City before Liverpool and Wolves make for a dangerous final two league fixtures.

2. Pearson plans for midweek: Norwich City looks as down-and-out as any club right now, so it’s not likely a coincidence that Etienne Capoue and Troy Deeney came off the pitch with the score line 2-0 and 26 minutes to play. Watford will aim to find points in its home ground against a poor Canaries side on Tuesday.

3. Kante limps off: While Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have remained fit and available to Lampard, the manager won’t be happy that N’Golo Kante’s injury-hit season saw a possible concern with a 78th-minute sub for Billy Gilmour.

Man of the Match

It was either Pulisic or Willian, and we’re going to go with the Brazilian if only because CP gets a lot of run in these parts.


Chelsea – Watford recap

Christian Pulisic came out of the gates in lively form and within minutes Olivier Giroud had an odd-angled chance to head toward goal.

The Blues were all over Watford for the first 20 minutes, Pulisic, Willian, and Giroud very involved in the display.

Giroud put the Blues on the board with an experienced, spinning strike in the 29th minute. Getting the ball off a Ross Barkley feed, the Frenchman hit a cushioned low shot across his body and just inside the far post.

Pulisic played a role in the second goal, dribbling to the end line and getting manhandled by an out-of-his-mind Christian Kabasele on his cut back toward play. Penalty, Willian. 2-0.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

The second half was mostly Chelsea, too, and Willian forced Foster into a terrific 68th-minute save and corner kick to the Blues.

Watford had their moments late, including a Danny Welbeck effort that Kepa Arrizabalaga did very well to save.

Pulisic had a shot blocked in the 90th minute, and Will Hughes couldn’t convert a Welbeck-inspired play at the other end.

Instead, the American would settle for a “hockey assist,” slipping the ball to Azpilicueta inside the 18 before the Chelsea veteran set up Barkley’s exclamation point.

Yarmolenko the hero as West Ham stuns Chelsea

West Ham - Chelsea recap
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West Ham – Chelsea recap: West Ham moved out of the drop zone and how in a thrilling 3-2 win against Chelsea at the London Stadium on Wednesday.

Andriy Yarmolenko provided the late winner and Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio also scored for the Irons, whose 30 points move them into 16th.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

They’re two points ahead of Watford and three clear of Aston Villa and Bournemouth.

Willian scored both of Chelsea’s goals as the Blues failed to pass third-place Leicester City and remain a point behind the Foxes.


Three things we learned

1. Huge Hammer blow: There’s no overlooking the fact that if you circled matches in which relegation sides would get points this season, you would’ve left this one alone. Getting the point would’ve been huge for the Irons. Three is unreal.

Yarmolenko is a huge talent and missed nearly three months with an adductor injury. He’s scored four times and added an assist this year, and West Ham has collected two wins and three draws from those outings. The Irons are 2W-2D-11L when he does not play.

2. Is Werner here yet? Chelsea has produced more chances than every Premier League team outside of Manchester City, but its fourth-highest goal total in the league is 22 behind City. They had 17 shots and six on target Wednesday. The goals came with a penalty and a free kick. Marcos Alonso and Christian Pulisic both missed chances in the first half. Neither is a center forward, but the addition of Timo Werner next season cannot come soon enough.

3. Willian is still money: The Brazilian’s goals were his third and fourth in his last four Premier League outings, giving him 62 to go with 60 assists in his Chelsea career. He is far-and-away Chelsea’s top performer this season via advanced stats site SofaScore and behind only Marcos Alonso on peer site WhoScored. Signing him is a decent idea.

Man of the Match

Soucek and Willian were both great but Antonio’s relentless effort produced a go-ahead goal and then a go-ahead assist. He deserves the nod.


West Ham – Chelsea recap

Chelsea spent the first dozen minutes on the front foot but West Ham should’ve been up 1-0 when Michail Antonio darted between Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso before scuffing his shot across goal and wide of the post.

Pulisic nearly curled in a 17-yard opener off a Tammy Abraham dummy but he missed the top right corner of the goal.

Soucek put West Ham ahead in the 34th minute off an unholy goal mouth scramble, Antonio curling into a ball in the six-yard box as the midfielder scooped the ball over him and past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Hold on! VAR ruled that the prone Antonio was offside in a wildly controversial call.

The script was flipped when Pulisic left his feet to win a penalty off a clumsy West Ham challenge, and Willian popped home the penalty.

Soucek got his goal before halftime to level the line for the final 45 minutes, rising high to pound home a corner kick.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Irons took the lead when Antonio side-footed home a Jarrod Bowen pass early in the second half.

Chelsea still had most of the ball, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek turned a cross wide of goal in the 64th.

Pulisic dribbled into a dangerous place and just missed a leaping Giroud with a chipped cross before the American’s header back across goal fell to the turf.

Fabianski rescued a Giroud header looping toward the upper 90 from Mason Mount’s free kick.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Then came Willian’s free kick, but that was not the precursor to Chelsea glory. Antonio spotted Yarmolenko’s run with an incisive pass and the Ukrainian delivered the goods.

Barkley slides Chelsea into FA Cup semis; Pulisic gets treatment

Leicester City - Chelsea recap
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Ross Barkley’s second-half goal sent Chelsea into the FA Cup semifinals after a 1-0 defeat of Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Chelsea joins Manchester United and Arsenal in the semis, with Man City and Newcastle to decide the fourth entrant later Sunday.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic was fantastic in the win, though he was shown getting ice on his left calf following a 72nd-minute substitution.

Pulisic finished the day with two shots, a key pass, two fouls drawn, seven-of-12 duels won, and two dribbles completed.

[ LAMPARD: Pulisic can reach Salah, Sterling level ]

An early error from Billy Gilmour sprung a first-minute chance for Leicester that Willy Caballero collected in the six.

In-form Pulisic was lively early, drawing a 16th-minute free kick in the Leicester final third. His suboptimal header of Reece James’ service was caught by Kasper Schmeichel, however.

Pulisic forced a more difficult save out of Schmeichel before the half-hour mark, both teams looking prepared to score.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Jamie Vardy dragged a left-footed effort wide of goal off a partial breakway just before halftime, though Caballero may have had the angle covered.

Barkley put Chelsea ahead through a slick bit of work from Willian. The 26-year-old’s fourth goal of the season is his third to go with an assist in four FA Cup outings this season.

Caglar Soyuncu came close to equalizing in the 85th minute but he was denied a clear header by a closing-in Cesar Azpilicueta.

Barkley bungled a late 4-on-2 with an errant pass before challenging Schmeichel with a drive from outside the 18.

Chelsea ends Man City’s 2-year Premier League reign

Chelsea - Man City recap
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Willian and Christian Pulisic scored to give Chelsea a 2-1 win over Manchester City and crown Liverpool the 2019-20 champions of the Premier League.

[ MORE: Full PL TV schedule ]  

Kevin De Bruyne scored for Man City in the loss, but Fernandinho was sent off by VAR to send Willian to the spot for the match-winning penalty.

Man City now maxes out at 84 points, two behind the massive haul of 86 collected by Liverpool through 31 matches.

Chelsea is now just one point back of third-place Leicester City, their 54 points five better than Manchester United and Wolves.

CHELSEA – MAN CITY FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. The Blues are for real and Werner is coming: The center forwards have not been good enough this season, even though young Tammy Abraham has bagged a lot of goals. Chelsea under Frank Lampard have produced an awful lot of chances, second only to City in the PL, but a clinical finisher could make them a genuine title threat.

2. Fernandinho’s hard-luck decisive moment: Pep Guardiola pulled a Javier Mascherano in turning one of the best defensive midfielders into a center back, and Fernandinho has been a war horse for City. But his hand ball on the line was not going to escape VAR, and he’ll miss at least three matches for the straight red card.

3. Pulisic isn’t (just) an American marketing tool: Well duh, but we’re probably going to be on this one for a long time, but those who criticized Chelsea’s big money purchase of the USMNT star certainly don’t have many reasonable excuses left in their locker after he scored his seventh goal in 17 Premier League matches by torching Benjamin Mendy to put Chelsea up 1-0.

He’s the real deal, guys.

4. Kevin De Bruyne is unreal: We knew that one, too.

Man of the Match

Andreas Christensen —The Chelsea center back blocked a shot with his face in his most memorable moment, but collected three clearances, four tackles, and an interception to go with it while winning all eight of his duels and passing at 95 percent. He also completed two dribble attempts.


Chelsea – Man City recap

The early moments were all Man City, but Chelsea provided some danger via a Christian Pulisic- and Willian-led rush which resulted in a 13th-minute corner kick.

Kepa Arrizabalaga denied City in the 18th minute, both sides now promising plenty for the remaining 70-plus minutes.

City was under big pressure after the half-hour mark, Ederson making a few key saves including Andreas Christensen’s headed off a 33rd-minute corner.

Chelsea got its goal through Pulisic’s brilliant long dribble following an Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy produced error. Ederson couldn’t stop the American’s classy finish inside the far post.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

De Bruyne equalized against his old mates with a devastating free kick up-and-over the wall to beat a sailing Kepa.

Chelsea nearly answered within a minute after a terrific Cesar Azpilicueta through ball produced a corner, but instead City countered for a possible go-ahead goal.

Raheem Sterling beat Kepa but not the frame as his 57th-minute shot hit the post.

Pulisic looked to have his second, but Kyle Walker slid to somehow keep the finish out of the goal.

Pulisic was among three players to nearly score in the 75th minute but VAR awarded the penalty and sent off Fernandinho for a handball. Willian did not miss.