Four things we learned from a pulsating draw in SW6
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Two former Manchester City players would be the standout performers for the Blues, in an enthralling 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge. 

A Erling Haaland brace along with a Manuel Akanji header had provided City with their first three goals, alongside finishes from Thiago Silva, ex-city starlet Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson to bring the game level with barely any time left to play.

The Premier League champions thought they had won it through Rodri’s goal, deflected in off the unfortunate Thiago Silva four minutes from time, but were left stunned in the dying seconds when substitute Armando Broja burst into the box and drew a foul from Ruben Dias, with Palmer dispatching his spot-kick under pressure to send home fans into raptures.

VAVEL considers the four things we learned from this Sunday evening fixture:

  • Sterling makes Southgate look foolish

Despite his much-improved performances under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino, Sterling still finds himself waiting for his next international appearance having been overlooked once again by Gareth Southgate in the latest England squad. Right now, the 28-year-old can only continue to do his talking on the pitch and sent his latest message to the England boss with his fourth goal of the season in the first half.

England have a plethora of options on the wing but the calls for Sterling’s return to the national team ahead of Euro 2024 will only continue to grow louder after his latest performance full of threat against his former club, particularly with the stuttering form of Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish's inability to nail down a starting berth in Manchester City's first eleven, following the rapid emergence of summer signing Jeremy Doku.

  • Palmer proves Pep wrong

In Chelsea, Cole Palmer has found a new home and the 21-year-old delivered a cruel reminder to his old club of what they are missing out on with his last-gasp equaliser from the spot. Having left Manchester in search of regular first team football, City's loss is very much Chelsea's gain.

A livewire throughout the game, the youngster got the moment to write the headline when Armando Broja was hauled down by Ruben Dias in injury time. Some may have shied away from the moment; Palmer embraced it, smashing home past Ederson and shrugging his shoulders in celebration as he found his sixth goal contribution in nine games and continued his superb start to life in London.

Not since Ryan Giggs’s strike for Manchester United in a 2-0 win over QPR in 2013 had a 39-year-old found the back of the net in the Premier League. Silva has now joined that impressive club as just the fourth player to achieve such a feat at that age.

The centre-back is already closing in on 100 league appearances for the Blues since joining from Paris Saint-Germain and offers a much-needed experience and know-how not present within many members of Pochettino’s young side.

Wesley Fofana, Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile have come through the door while Levi Colwill has emerged from the academy. And yet, the timeless Brazilian remains the lynchpin and guiding light of Chelsea’s defensive effort, now under his fourth manager at Stamford Bridge.

  • Akanji proves a worthy back-up to the absent John Stones

The centre-back’s £15m move to City is proof that value for money in today’s transfer market maintains. Filling in for the injured John Stones in his hybrid role, Akanji once again offered up another assured display to showcase why he has missed just three league games this season.

Misplacing only four passes all game in midfield and scoring City’s second goal before the break, the 28-year-old then delivered an inch-perfect sliding tackle to prevent Nicolas Jackson surging through on goal late on in the second half. Stones will still be the preferred player in this role but the Swiss international proved he is a more than capable deputy.