Costa Shows He’s Still Worth It
The Spanish striker hasn’t exactly been great this term, but who has in a Chelsea shirt? He thrived in this match and finally looked somewhere near his best.
He laid on an assist for Oscar, his first in 20 Premier League games, and his workrate was superb. The pass to Oscar was excellent, Ozil-esque and that will only breed confidence, something he’s lacked massively. His goal will have helped too.
The level of performance of Fabregas will have helped the centre-forward but he did well to not be wound up by an aggressive Damien Delaney as he was at Stamford Bridge. No one is saying he’s back but he's scoring again and it was nice to see him make an impact.
Palace Need A Striker
Crystal Palace’s game is to sit in defend well and then hit teams with the pace of Zaha and co. However, they would be so much better at that if they had a genuine centre-forward who possesses real quality.
Conor Wickham has played that role well at times this term and it shows that in the 9 games he had played prior to this one the Eagles had scored 17 goals and taken 19 points, in the 10 games without him they had found the net just 6 times and recorded 12 points.
If they can do that with a striker of Wickham’s ability, then the addition of a true goalscorer could be the difference between an excellent campaign and a decent one.
Eden Hazard Just Doesn’t Care Anymore
Now, to say a player is feigning injury or just doesn’t care is a pretty bold and brash thing to say but it seems like Eden Hazard gets injuries every week and looks generally disinterested, seemign to take the easy option on every occasion. He's a bit like the kid you played with in the under-11s who realised he wasn't quite cut out for running round in the cold, he'd rather be sat in his dad's car with the heater on.
Jose Mourinho hinted at the Belgian being a bit soft, remember the whole Eva Carneiro scenario?
It feels as if Hazard just decided that he didn’t fancy it in August, and he is showing no signs of changing that mindset, Jose or no Jose. To go from being touted to challenge Messi and Ronaldo as one of the world’s best to his current state is a sad state of affairs, it could be time to get rid.
Pardew’s Palace Can’t Cope Without Cabaye
Crystal Palace may have lost here but and got off to a losing start in 2016 but they weren’t exactly awful and they were missing some key players. Alan Pardew was second only to Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger for wins in the Premier League in 2015 and this is a very decent outfit.
Their reliance on a certain Frenchman is a worry though. Yohan Cabaye is the team’s top goalscorer with just five and when he is not present in central midfield they lack creativity and dominance centrally.
Mile Jedinak is a legend at Selhurst Park but a pairing of him and James McArthur is not going to get Palace into the top six. They may want to look for a creative outlet in the window to support Cabaye.
Fabregas Can Still Be Fabulous
Cesc Fabregas was an assist god last season. Mesut Ozil has rained on his parade this term, while Chelsea have had an all round stinker.
However, the Spanish schemer looked back to something near his best here. He assisted Costa’s assist for Oscar with a superb early pass that caught out Damien Delaney and he was a constant metronome at the base of the midfield.
Jon Obi Mikel was solid alongside him which freed him up to do the pretty stuff on a regular basis. The absence of Yohan Cabaye hindered Palace in the middle and made it easier for Fabregas, but green shots and all that.