Not exactly vintage effort from Chelsea so far today, to say the least, with Palace outplaying, outhustling, and most importantly outscoring Chelsea through the first 45 minutes. The 2-1 scoreline is not exactly what we’ve been planning.
Palace started full of vim and vigor and while they didn’t really pose any tangible threat, Chelsea still managed to contrive an opener for them, made to pay dearly for some throughly disorganized and panicky defending. A clearance from David Luiz hit Cabaye’s knee, deflecting back onto Azpilicueta, and the subsequent deflection off the Chelsea man wrong-footed Courtois as the ball tittered over the line. It was Palace’s first goal of the season and it was an own goal at that.
After the goal, Chelsea settled into the game finally and started playing a bit, though the front three have continued to look rather isolated and ineffective. The equalizer came from a set piece, Bakayoko nodding in Fàbregas’s corner for his first Chelsea goal. Blue hair incoming!
Both sides have had chances to add to their lead, with Townsend and Zaha both coming close for Palace and Batshuayi and Fàbregas just missing high for Chelsea. That Chelsea’s goal and both of those chances have come from set pieces will be worrying for Conte. Chelsea need to do better.
Especially as Palace managed an actual goal, too, before the half-time whistle, this time making easy work of Chelsea’s right side before Zaha slotted coolly into the far corner.
Before that, Victor Moses became the latest hamstring injury victim, limping off while holding the back of his leg and getting replaced by David Zappacosta. Gary Cahill also appeared to pick up a knee knock early on, but seems to have been able to run it off.
Time to turn this one around, boys.
COME ON, CHELSEA!