Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Convincing victory at the Bridge gets the Blues back on Track
Ben Chilwell of Chelsea celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on October 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

After a slow first half, Chelsea managed to pick up their first home victory of the season after four second half goals secured all three points against fellow London club Crystal Palace.

Goals from Ben Chilwell, Kurt Zouma, and a brace of penalties from Jorginho saw the Blues ultimately run away with the victory after being far from convincing in the first half.

The result will come to the relief of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard after recent disappointing performances against Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, and Tottenham Hotspur.

With the win, it sees Chelsea jump into the top four places for the time being, while Crystal Palace drop down to 8th in the Premier League table.

  • Story of the Match

Going into the match, all eyes were on Frank Lampard's Chelsea team sheet, with the blues looking to respond following their Carabao Cup exit on Tuesday night against Tottenham. The manager made four changes from Tuesday's line up, with Thiago Silva, N'Golo Kanté, Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham all brought into the side, replacing Fikayo Tomori, Mateo Kovačić, Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud. The notable inclusion was that of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has recently been linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson named the same line-up from their last Premier League fixture, a 2-1 home defeat to Everton, after they did not have a midweek fixture. A notable exception from the bench was Michy Batshuayi, who was ineligible to face the club that he is on loan from.

The game started off slowly, and Hodgson would have been happy with his team's start, as they settled into their defensive structure early on. However, the best chance of the first half fell to Chelsea, as Kai Havertz fed Timo Werner, only for the German striker's weak effort fall straight into the arms of Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. Both teams went into the break goalless, but Hodgson would have been the happier of the two managers.

The start of the second half did not go as well for the Eagles, as direct running from Callum Hudson-Odoi forced Palace into mistakes at the back, as the ball fell to Cesar Azpilicueta, who's attempted effort eventually found itself to the feet of Ben Chilwell, who hammered the ball past Guaita for his first Chelsea goal.

And it was not too long before goal scorer became provider, as Chilwell's lovely lofted cross found the head of centre back Kurt Zouma, who doubled Chelsea's advantage with a lofted header past the despairing dive of Guaita.

After a clear trip by young left back Tyrick Mitchell on Tammy Abraham, Chelsea were given the opportunity to put the game beyond all doubt from the penalty spot. Despite his recent miss against Liverpool, Jorginho stepped up and rolled his penalty into the bottom corner, sending Guaita the wrong way in the process.

Chelsea were then awarded another penalty, as a heavy touch from Cheikou Kouyaté in his attempt to clear Thiago Silva's cross fell to Kai Havertz, whom Kouyaté clipped as the German dinked the ball past him. Much to the dismay of Tammy Abraham, who wanted to get his name on the scoresheet, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta handed the ball back to Jorginho to take, and the Italian grabbed his second goal, with the Italian this time choosing to shoot down the middle.

One of the most pleasing things for Chelsea fans came in the last ten minutes of the game, as American winger Christian Pulisic made his first appearance since his hamstring injury suffered in the FA Cup Final against Arsenal, coming on late on in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi.

  • Takeaways

Blues Look Solid at the Back

Coming in for their Premier League debuts, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and left back Ben Chilwell made Chelsea's defence look considerably more solid. Senegalese international Mendy did not have a lot to do in the Chelsea goal, but his sheer presence was valuable in putting off Crystal Palace players from taking on pot shots and half chances, and will be encouraged by the clean sheet he picked up. As for Chilwell, his performance has made many confident that he will be first choice left back for years to come, with his work rate and technical ability being wonderful to watch, topped off with a goal, an assist, and a man of the match award.

Palace Need More Inventiveness

The most disappointing thing for Crystal Palace fans after today's display would be their lack of desire to attack. Despite having good technical players such as Eberechi Eze, Andros Townsend, and Wilfried Zaha, they made no real attempt to trouble Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal. With Hodgson's uninspiring substitutions, just replacing central midfielders James McCarthy and James McArthur with like for like replacements, it seemed a case of damage limitation rather than an attempt to get back into the game. A move for a quick, skillful player that can unlock a defence, such as Brentford winger Saïd Benrahma, seems a must for a deadline day deal.

Keen Kai Starting to Find his Feet

After not looking at his sharpest in his first couple of Premier League performances, Kai Havertz is starting to look like the key man in this Chelsea side. Played in his prefered number 10 position, the German international was free to roam and his technical skill added a real spark to Chelsea's play. His close link up with players around him has already been impressive, and once Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are ready to start games, we might start to see the formation of one of the Premier League's most exciting attacks.

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