Pulisic with a brace as Chelsea batter Crystal Palace

Sports Desk, Apr 10 (EFE).- United States international Christian Pulisic scored twice Saturday to lead Chelsea 1-4 over Crystal Palace, allowing the Blues to climb to fourth in the Premier League.

A week after their shocking 2-5 defeat to 19th-place West Bromwich Albion, Thomas Tuchel’s squad dominated, holding Palace to a single shot.

The result brings Chelsea to 54 points, 2 more than Liverpool, who spent a few hours in the fourth spot after besting Aston Villa 2-1.

Palace remain 13th on 38 points, 12 above the drop zone.

Tuchel made multiple changes to the lineup from the West Brom game, leaving Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso on the bench, though some of those adjustments could be attributed to squad management ahead of next week’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Porto.

Kai Havertz opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 8th minute right after Palace keeper Vicente Guaita denied Pulisic.

Two minutes later, Havertz followed up on his first goal in 19 Premier League matches by assisting on Pulisic’s marker to make it 0-2.

Havertz went on to force a stop from Guaita before Kurt Zouma headed-in a Mason Mount free kick in the 30th minute for the 0-3.

Christian Benteke pulled back a goal for the hosts in the 63rd minute, converting Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.

Guaita, whose performance spared Palace from humiliation, thwarted Havertz in the 68th, but couldn’t stop Pulisic from completing the brace 10 minutes later.

“I’m happy,” Havertz said after the match says. “The most important is that we won. After the 5-2 defeat a good game for us. I think we could score more goals but we can be happy. Today I got some chances, I could score one or two more goals, but of course I’m happy.” EFE apa/dr

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