A player who often goes unnoticed is James McArthur.

The midfielder has become a mainstay figure in Crystal Palace starting 11 and carved out a crucial role for himself that Roy Hodgson is considerably reliant on.

Despite not being exceptional at any one thing, it’s often the fact he can be depended upon – irrespective of the circumstances – which makes him important.

McArthur has featured in every one of Palace’s Premier League games this season, and has already been in more than half of the number of games he appeared in last year.

Against Chelsea, the Eagles’ final game of 2018, the 31-year-old was tasked with hassling and harrying one of the division’s most dynamic midfields.

READ: Five things we learned from Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 1

Alongside captain Luka Milivojevic, who anchored in front of the back four, and the industrious Cheikhou Kouyaté, all three were tasked with stopping the supply into Chelsea’s attack.

McArthur carried out his duties as well as one would reasonably expect during the first half.

He stayed close to danger man Eden Hazard, doubled up on the wings where necessary, and ensured there was a presence in both halves of the pitch – attacking and defending.

In one of his several forays up the pitch, he got close enough to Chelsea’s box to pull back for an onrushing team-mate but the pass was thwarted by David Luiz.

Having said that the opening 45 minutes left a lot to be desired – although the visitors had much of the possession, quality was lacking from both sides throughout.

Where it went wrong for Palace was six minutes into the restart when the defence switched off for N’Golo Kanté’s run and, predictably, he punished them accordingly.

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It’s arguable McArthur could – and should – have done more to harass David Luiz in the build-up, the centre half had enough time to pick out Kanté with a superb aerial through pass.

The midfielder was closest to the defender and opted to stay home, believing the danger is best prevented through the restriction of options.

Such is the quality and killer instinct of a team like Chelsea, who are vying for a top three or four finish this season, that they can harm you in various ways - as proven with the goal.

Similar patterns of McArthur’s first half showing reappeared following the restart, keeping players like Ross Barkley as far away from the penalty area as possible.

Though he almost released Wilfried Zaha through for a one-on-one with the seldom troubled Kepa Arrizabalaga, only for the Palace talisman to be ruled offside.

READ: Player ratings from Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 1

The hosts struggled to find a way back following Kanté’s opener, and despite a late rally it proved too hard to come back from.

McArthur performed fairly well, though he may wonder whether he did enough to stop Chelsea’s attack when the goal went in.