Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace
It was a brilliant all round performance by the Blues, but for all Chelsea’s expensively assembled attack it was two defenders, Ben Chilwell and Kurt Zouma who gave the them a commanding lead early in the second half, before midfielder Jorginho converted two late penalties.
The Premier League 2020 betting odds give the Blues an outside chance of beating Liverpool and Manchester City to the title and, on this evidence, they might just give it a shot; but for Palace it was simply a day to forget.
Highlights of the game
The Blues dominated possession from the off, but struggled to make inroads into the Palace penalty area in the first half. Striker Timo Werner found himself having to go deep to pick up the ball as the Eagles presented a compact defensive formation.
N’Golo Kante had the opening shot on 15 minutes, taking a pass from Jorginho and attempting to curl one into the top corner but he was off target. Then Kai Havertz went on a 40 yard run before putting Werner through on goal but he shot tamely at Vicente Guaita who saved easily.
Jorginho had an opening from 15 yards following a Ben Chilwell free kick but he smashed his shot just over the bar and Tammy Abraham had a couple of chances but failed to connect. The striker nearly struck lucky when he blocked a clearance from Guaita but the ball bounced wide to safety as the Eagles went into half time level.
Edouard Mendy, making his league debut in goal for Chelsea, had a quiet first 45 minutes making just four touches.
But after a frustrating first half the Blues didn’t have to wait long after the break for their goal, and it was a debut strike for Chilwell. After a poor Palace clearance Cesar Azpilicueata sliced his shot and it bounced back off Cheik Kouyate to the waiting Chilwell who hammered it home from eight yards.
And one became two, midway through the second half and it was another defender, Kurt Zouma, who doubled Chelsea’s lead. This time Chilwell made the assist, crossing deep for the centre back to climb high and power a header past Guaita and into the net.
The Eagles resistance was broken, and then if fell to pieces as they conceded two penalties within five minutes. The first conceded by Tyrick Mitchell when he tripped Abraham, and the second by Mamadou Sakho who clumsily felled Havertz. Jorginho comfortably converted both to finish off a resounding victory for the Blues.
After failing to win a David vs Goliath clash against West Brom last week, mainly because they were three down by the break, this time it was a different story for Chelsea as Palace had just two shots in the first 45 minutes, neither on target while the Blues had seven shots and two saved by Guaita.
Chelsea have failed to score a first half goal in three consecutive Premier League games since the beginning of last season; while, unsurprisingly, the Eagles have drawn a first half blank 30 times in that time, more than any other top flight team!
When the final whistle blew Palace still hadn’t tested Mendy, but Chelsea had racked up 17 shots and six on target.
The Blues have now won six consecutive league games against the Eagles for the first time in their history, while Palace have lost nine of their last 12 Premier League matches.
Here at SBOTOP we asked how quickly Frank Lampard’s new look team would really start to gel and today it seems things are starting to happen at Stamford Bridge.
Next up we’re heading into an international break, so the next Premier League action for the Blues is on 17th October when they entertain Southampton. The Saints earned a first victory of the season over Burnley last week and host West Brom tomorrow when they’ll expect to pick up another three points.
Crystal Palace have their South London to South coast ‘derby’ clash with Brighton to look forward to, but before all that happens we’ll be back with all the latest Premier League 2020 updates and results as they unfold this weekend.
And then the Premier League transfer deadline arrives on Monday. Head coach Roy Hodgson has said he won’t entertain any late bids for Zaha and on the evidence of today he needs all the strike power he can find.
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