Tammy Abraham admitted Chelsea had to ‘dig deep’ after the club secured a crucial 3-2 win at Crystal Palace to maintain their push for a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
Chelsea moved five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United following an entertaining clash at Selhurst Park, the west London side opening the scoring after just six minutes through Olivier Giroud.
Christian Pulisic continued his fine form by doubling the Blues’ lead before the half hour, before Wilfried Zaha’s stunning effort from distance halved the deficit for Palace.
Abraham came off the bench in the second-half to score Chelsea’s third of evening following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s clever pass, only for Christian Benteke’s instant reply to set up a nervy finish, the Belgian tapping home his first home goal in over two years for the hosts.
Frank Lampard’s side held on to secure a precious three points despite late pressure, and Abraham praised his side’s resilience as they moved a step closer to rejoining Europe’s elite next season.
“You know coming here it’s never easy, even though there are no fans this is their home pitch and they’re playing well this season,” Abraham told Sky Sports.
“We had to dig deep and I think the last 10 minutes was the most attacked we’ve ever been. We had to stay patient but we got some great saves and great blocks in and that’s what it’s all about.
Abraham’s goal was his first since January 11 and ended a run of eight Premier League games without scoring, and the forward admits ‘it’s good to be back’ after a frustrating spell on the sidelines through injury.
“It’s been a while, I’ve been out with a few injuries which has been annoying but it’s good to be back.”
Chelsea’s next league fixtures sees the club travel to face Sheffield United on Saturday evening, whilst Crystal Palace face a struggling Aston Villa side at Villa Park on Sunday.