EPL: Havertz Shines As Chelsea Trash Palace

Chelsea boosted their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four as Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic starred in a 4-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side blew Palace away with a swaggering first half display inspired by Germany forward Havertz.

Chelsea are up to fourth place and sit two points clear of fifth placed Liverpool.

West Ham, also two points behind the Blues, would reclaim fourth if they beat Leicester on Sunday.

Havertz has endured a difficult time since his close-season move from Bayer Leverkusen, but he gave a rare glimpse of his quality with the opening goal in south London.

The 21-year-old turned provider to set up Pulisic for the second goal before Kurt Zouma put Chelsea three up after 30 minutes.

Christian Benteke got one back for Palace in the second half, but Pulisic netted again as Chelsea cruised to their first win in three league games.

“Kai will never be our emotional leader, we don’t expect him to be, but we expect to see his quality,” Tuchel said.

“Honestly he needed to show he could do better, that was the challenge personally for him. He got a second chance to show up after Porto.

“There is still room to improve in his finishing, he should have been more ruthless and could have scored more but it was a good step.”

Tuchel suffered his first defeat in 15 matches since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard when West Bromwich Albion claimed a 5-2 win at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Chelsea hadn’t scored more than two goals in any of their previous 16 matches under Tuchel in all competitions.

Zouma ended that streak in the 30th minute as Mason Mount swung in a free-kick and the French defender rose above Gary Cahill to power his header past Guaita.

Benteke reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute with a thumping header from Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.

But Chelsea had the last word when Pulisic bundled home James’ deflected cross in the 78th minute. (AFP)

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