Chelsea overcame their usual struggles to defeat Crystal Palace on Saturday. They scored two goals in the first half and created plenty of chances. However, once the second half started and the manager Palace brought on Wilfried Zaha and the Blues looked uneasy. Even if they got three points, they struggled a lot due to Conte’s mistakes in substitutions. So here are the four things Antonio Conte should learn from Crystal Palace’s game to beat Barcelona.
Instead of scoring more goals, Alvaro Morata seems to be busy collecting yellow cards. He did not have much of an impact nor scared the opposition’s defence in any way.v All he did was booking another yellow card. The Spanish also slapped the linesman’s flag off of his hand, which may cause him other troubles. If Morata wants to earn his spot back in the team, he needs to keep his cool and focus on the game, not arguing.
Things could have been different at Etihad if N’Golo Kante had been healthy. The French international was back against Crystal Palace, and was lively and kept the midfield in his back pocket. Kante is key to stop the opposition’s build-up and counter-attacks. Against Barcelona, this man will have a major role to play. Furthermore, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko are not fast players, while Kante provides the team with speed on the breakaway.
Chelsea created many chances against Crystal Palace and hazard was a big part of it. The Blues got into trouble when the Belgian was substituted andCrystal Palace took advantage to score one goal later. Hazard is the club’s top scorer this season and his presence means a lot in the team. Seeing him off would be a big mistake against Barcelona. Chelsea will need him as sharp and deadly as possible.
During his entire outing against Crystal Palace, Olivier Giroud’s role was vital. He made the Blues look stronger and even more dangerous. Having a striker on the field also helped Eden Hazard and Willian run with the ball and take on defenders. Antonio Conte’s men had a total of 27 shots with 11 on target. This could create goals, which is what Chelsea needs against Barcelona. The only lingering question at this point is who will it be: Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud?