Willian Represents Everything Antonio Conte Wants From His Team in Barcelona

Dean Simpson
March 11, 2018

It was nearly the flawless game, if we didn't concede the goal at the last.

The reigning champions lost to Manchester United and Manchester City in their last two games, but things were rather more straightforward this time around and they should have claimed a more comprehensive win over Palace given the number of chances they created. Today's game provides the ideal opportunity for us to do that, and Antonio Conte has pulled no punches with his team selection.

Marcos Alonso almost added to the advantage, prodding a shot wide after Giroud brought a cross down, and a quick free-kick routine from Cesc Fabregas didn't produce any results, as the Blues failed to make the most of their chances.

The Ivorian's arrival coincided with an improvement in Palace's play and he went on to set up Patrick van Aanholt's goal as Palace threatened to launch a late comeback against the Premier League champions.

The 29-year-old is enjoying his best season at Chelsea, with his goal against Palace his fifth in as many games and his 13th of the season.

"He was a bit unlucky today, but at the same time we must be pleased for his commitment", Conte said of Giroud. "We are playing against one of the best teams in the world so we must pay great attention, having the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona".

Despite the numbers supporting Willian's inclusion in the team, Conte insists his defensive work is equally important.

The struggle for Chelsea is to secure one of the four Champions League places. - This was the 10th game this season that Wilfried Zaha hasn't started for Crystal Palace in the Premier League - they haven't won a single point in any of these games.

Hodgson said: "The level of commitment wasn't good enough in the first half. We did have all 11 doing that in the second half".

Hazard blasted a shot over the bar before Sorloth thought he had pulled a goal back, only for the whistle to blow for a foul in the build-up. The people who tell me we should feel aggrieved studied it on the video.

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