Willian played like a man who relished the extra pressure of being named captain in Chelsea’s convincing 2-0 win over Crystal Palace , according to former England midfielder Danny Murphy.
The 31-year-old winger was a standout performer in a team with an average age of 24, the lowest in the club’s Premier League history.
Willian twice came close to the opening the scoring in a lively first-half performance and it was his exquisite flick that teed up the crucial opening goal for Tammy Abraham after the break at Stamford Bridge.
Murphy said on BBC’s Match Of The Day that Willian “is a super player”.
“His intelligence is there for all to see and he led the team well,” the ex-Tottenham man added.
“The responsibility as captain improved his performance. He was the one most likely to try to break the Palace rearguard down; he was the most positive.
“He has been playing well well anyway but even more so today he took the responsibility Frank has asked him to take and helped the younger ones in a game that was a bit stale in the first half.
“Even when he wasn’t getting in the holes he was trying to get in the box and we don’t see him in the box often enough with the quality he has got.”
Christian Pulisic grabbed the other goal, the American’s fifth goal in three games ensuring the three points and a sixth consecutive Premier League victory.