The Warmdown: Crystal Palace outclassed by classy Chelsea
(GettyImages - Sebastian Frej/MB Media)

Potential title-contenders Chelsea comfortably dispatched of Crystal Palace as Patrick Vieira’s first Premier League game ends in a 3-0 defeat.

Chelsea dominated from the get-go and got their deserved opener through Marcos Alonso’s delightful free-kick that left Vicente Guaita rooted to his goal line.

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Shortly after, Chelsea doubled their lead when Christian Pulisic bundled his effort into the far corner.

At half-time, Palace opted for a tactical change in their formation, and it seemed to be working when Wilfried Zaha came close to halving the deficit testing Edouard Mendy at his near post.

Jordan Ayew had a half-chance when his header was held by Mendy, but the inevitable third was soon to come for the rampant hosts.

Making his Premier League debut, Trevor Chalobah (brother of Nathaniel Chalobah) smashed home from 25 yards out to seal all three points for the Blues.

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  • Vieira should forget this game and move on 

This was the first competitive Palace game for former Arsenal legend Vieira - who has previously managed New York City in the MLS and Nice in France’s Ligue 1.

Palace fans were warned that implementing a new system with new players will take time, and that was proved in their season opener.

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Nine first-team players left in the summer, including key players such as Andros Townsend and Gary Cahill and only one summer signing started in Marc Guehi.

Players such as Conor Gallagher, Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Luka Milivojevic and James Tomkins were missing, so Palace are sure to be more confident when they return to the side.

  • Creativity missing from the likes of Gallagher, Eze and Olise

Gallagher missed the game due to playing against his parent club as he is on loan.

Olise and Eze would have played against the Blues, but unfortunately, they are injured for the foreseeable future.

A stroke of bad luck for the Eagles as their creativity was nullified and players such as Jeffrey Schlupp, Ayew and Zaha were uninspiring at Stamford Bridge.

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Gallagher is likely to return next Saturday against Brentford as capacity crowds return to Selhurst Park for the first time since March 2020.

  • The Eagles got better after moving to a back three

In the first half, Palace really struggled for possession or any sense of creativity that could lead to any type of chance.

Zaha could not get going, Mateta barely touched the ball, and the midfield was easily bypassed on the attack.

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In the second half, Joachim Andersen and Christian Benteke were brought on for Mateta and Schlupp. Palace also moved from a 4-3-3 to a system that supported five at the back.

Palace started to look better and threatened Chelsea on a few occasions, but this system could work against teams that like to attack.

  • Benteke has to start over Mateta

Throughout his time on the pitch, Mateta struggled to get into the game and his time at Palace may be running out if he doesn’t impress soon.

Long gone are the days of that wonderful back-heeled effort against bitter rivals Brighton. When Benteke came on, he proved yet again that he can galvanise our attackers to go for it with his threat upfront.

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A forward, among other places, such as left-back and right-back, is a must in this window to make Vieira’s first season in the Premier League as a manager a success.

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