'Outstanding' - Chelsea fans full of praise for defender in Palace win

'Outstanding' - Chelsea fans full of praise for defender in Palace win

Reflecting further on the game, he added: "They were very good, but in the first half our discipline was very focussed and we limited their goalscoring chances, and apart from their offside goal I thought we did quite well".

But they scraped a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace to go five points clear of the Gunners in fourth and are now two points behind Tottenham.

With the anticipated addition of Dominic Solanke on loan, Crystal Palace will transform into a far more unsafe side capable of turning quality chances into more regular goals.

"I don't know the severity".

Kante has sometimes looked out of sorts in his different position this season, but he showed signs of getting to grips with it on Sunday, scoring the victor at Crystal Palace with a well-timed run and cool finish.

"It is never easy to play here or control it here, especially when they (Crystal Palace) play long balls, but we did well".

They could be hampered by fitness problems, with Olivier Giroud, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi all suffering injuries over Christmas.

Kante broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when his darting run into the Crystal Palace penalty area was spotted by defender David Luiz.

The Italian gaffer, however, admitted that the Blues played against a unsafe opponent. So for us the midfielders' movement without the ball is very important. We have to work on Loftus and Ross Barkley on this.

"It's no secret he's a target", said Hodgson, whose side play Wolves on Wednesday. He will provide an attacking threat as a good center-forward should provide. He's a proven goalscorer through all the age groups at Chelsea and England.

Sarri's side have collected 21 points from 10 home games in the Premier League this season, only losing to Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

The former England boss added: "He's someone with the profile we're looking for, and the ability we are looking for. It would take some player to knock their front three of their perch".

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