Three talking points from Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea (L) attempts to take the ball past Zeki Fryers of Crystal Palace (R) during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea (L) attempts to take the ball past Zeki Fryers of Crystal Palace (R) during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /
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LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 17: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (L) and Marcos Alonso of Chelsea (R) battle for possession during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 17: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (L) and Marcos Alonso of Chelsea (R) battle for possession during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /

Wilfried Zaha ran rampant over Marcos Alonso (and Jon Moss)

Marcos Alonso has many fine attributes: aerial mastery, strong crosses, free kick ability (who knew?) and wonderful hair. However, speed and agility in ground battles are not among them.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha is one of the Premier League’s fastest players. This created an extreme mismatch on Chelsea’s left. For the entire match Zaha left Alonso several steps behind, slipping and scrambling to catch up. You could almost see Alonso standing among little clouds of dust behind Zaha like in “Roadrunner” cartoons.

Crystal Palace exploited Alonso’s lack of speed better than any opponent so far. Fortunately for Alonso and Chelsea, Nathan Ake is ineligible to play for Bournemouth. He would be a perfect player to dispose of Alonso with overlapping runs along the touchline.

That said, Marcos Alonso should not have had much to worry about in the Wilfried Zaha department had referee Jon Moss enforced the major new rule of this Premier League season. Moss called Zaha for a foul against Eden Hazard in the 26th minute. Zaha spent about a minute arguing and protesting up close and personal with Moss. The Palace man gave a textbook demonstration of this year’s version of “dissent,” a bookable offense.

Zaha then took a break from arguing with Moss to argue with his own teammates. Zaha wanted no part of the wall in the ensuing free kick. Crystal Palace’s James McArthur had to pull Zaha by the arm back into the wall. For a moment, McArthur and Zaha looked like they were about to reenact the recent Preston North End match where two PNE players were sent off for fighting with each other.

Zaha then reignited his argument with Moss, who had now brought in Palace captain Scott Dann. All in all, a ludicrous scene. But one that was particularly frustrating for Chelsea as Zaha should have received at least one yellow card for the fracas, in an incident that summed up Jon Moss’s overall performance.