90+4min: FULL TIME. CHELSEA WIN!
90+3min: McCarthy gets a yellow for high boot on Kovacic. Chelsea have a free kick 25 yards out, central. Willian’s interested. But it goes over the bar.
90+1min: Chelsea looking for one more as Willian drives at the area and Batshuayi trying yet another turn and shot. James gets a chance for a long shot from the corner, but it’s blocked.
90min: 4 minutes added on.
88min: Hudson-Odoi goes for a jaunt and tries his luck from 25 yards. Not too far wide.
87min: Gilmour on for Mount in Chelsea’s final change of the night.
86min: Kepa finally makes a save, his first of the day, comfortable from McCarthy after Zaha drove infield from the left.
85min: Chelsea playing out the remaining time without much drama so far.
80min: Hudson-Odoi on for Pulisic.
79min: GOALLL!!! PULISIC!! Kovacic starts things again with a great cross field ball, finding Pulisic who works the ball into the area. The initial shot is blocked, but Batshuayi picks up the loose ball. He turns and shoots, Palace blocking it again, but Pulisic is there to head in the looping ball. 2-0, CHELSEA!!
76min: Willian finds Mount with a crossfield ball, but his shot is blocked. Chelsea win it back and Emerson drives the left channel. A great cross is palmed wide by Guaita. Willian takes the corner, but Palace clear.
75min: Pulisic almost threads one through for Batshuayi, but it’s cut out. Kanté fouls Kouyaté to stop a potential counter.
73min: Substitution in the meantime, as Batshuayi replaces Abraham. Zouma seems okay to carry on.
72min: Kanté’s pass is cut out in midfield and Palace turn upfield. Ayew and Zouma clash heads on the cross and the referee eventually stops play. Zouma stays down, getting some attention.
70min: Ayew falls down under pressure from Tomori and Zouma on the right touchline, level with the spot, and wins a foul. The ball comes in and Tomkins just heads wide after the ball evades a jumping crowd. Would’ve been extremely harsh, that, considering it was never a foul to begin with.
67min: Kovacic drives through midfield again, finding Mount who dummies the ball for Pulisic. He cuts inside and lets fly, but gets underneath his shot and it balloons over the bar.
66min: Palace looking to mount a response, but Chelsea standing firm so far. Abraham pressures Cahill and wins a free kick to get Chelsea back on the ball.
63min: James and Zouma combine to stop Zaha after he tries to wriggle through and cause some danger.
62min: Tomori almost finds Abraham with a ball over the top after Mount won the ball back on the high press.
59min: Pulisic’s latest effort is tipped acrobatically over by Guaita. Willian takes the latest corner; too deep.
56min: Tomori blocks a Kouyaté shot after Emerson gambles on a ball but fails to cut it out.
54min: Chelsea win it back immediately from the kick-off as Mount drives at the defense. He opts for a powerful drive, which appears to be blocked by a hand. Cahill then takes out Abraham on the loose ball, but no call for either infraction as VAR sits silent.
52min: GOALLL!!! ABRAHAM!! And there it is! The moment of quality, as Chelsea work the ball into the area from a throw, Kovacic finding Willian who flicks it through to Abraham, and he finishes assuredly past Guaita for his 10th league goal of the season! 1-0, CHELSEA!!
51min: Chelsea settle the ball down finally after a bit of scrappy play in midfield. Need just one moment of quality or luck.
50min: Palace with another foul in midfield as Chelsea move the ball around, looking for openings. There aren’t many, with 11 men behind the ball for Palace.
47min: James’s cross is deflected, but falls to Abraham, who turns and quickly shoots, but it’s well wide. He’s called offside anyway, although on replay, it shows he was nowhere near offside.
46min: Pulisic on the ball in the area. The ball appears to come off Kelly’s arm, but VAR turns a blind eye, as does the referee.
HALF-TIME: No changes for either side at the half. Chelsea get us back underway.
45+4min: Just as the half is about to end, Mount battles for a ball and plays it wide to James, who puts in a perfect low cross. It just evades Abraham, but the loose ball falls to Willian. He looks odds on the score, but a combination of Guaita and Cahill smothers and blocks the shot. And that’s the end of the half, which remains scoreless.
45+2min: Chelsea work the ball around and Kanté puts in a decent ball from deep right. Pulisic gets a head to it, but it’s well over the bar.
45min: 4 minutes of first-half stoppage time added on. Four!
44min: Ward now makes way for Martin Kelly.
43min: Willian’s corner is headed straight back out. He collects the long rebound, cuts in a couple times, and goes for an audacious long distance effort that seems to dip and swerve a bit, but Guaita holds on safely.
42min: Pulisic gets a cross blocked and wins a corner. Ward down for Palace in the meantime, and it looks like his day is done.
40min: Willian wins another foul, 25 yards out wide right. He swings it in from the right, but it’s way too hard and Emerson can’t quite keep it in.
37min: Chelsea camp out in Palace’s half, probing, moving, passing. A Pulisic cross is just too long for Willian at the far post. Abraham then has a brief chance to shoot, but is crowded out.
33min: Kovačić fouls Townsend from behind. He feels he got the ball; replays confirm he did not.
31min: Palace with some slick passing, winning a couple fouls, first off Emerson then off James. Referee plays advantage on the first (later books Emerson), then calls the second, just outside the left corner of the penalty area. Milivojevic goes for the audacious driven ball towards the far post, but it’s well wide of the goal and in no danger of finding any player.
28min: Mount wins a free kick, 20 yards out dead center. He lines up over it as well, takes aim, but hits the top of the wall, and it goes for out a throw.
27min: Twinkle toes from Pulisic in the area again, he lays it off to Kanté but his shot is blocked.
26min: Chelsea have a bit of difficulty playing out on the left, with Tomori and Emerson playing into a bit of trouble, but Willian eventually cuts out a switch from Palace and looks to break. But his ball to Abraham is wide and he pulls it back.
22min: Zaha in the book, after he fouls Willian from behind. Free kick just outside the top of the right corner of the area. This time it’s Emerson who tries his luck. Well wide.
19min: Kovačić this time wins the free kick off Zaha, which Chelsea take short. Chelsea with the vast majority of possession and control in the game so far.
17min: Emerson wins a corner this time. Willian takes, but Palace head clear. James and Mount contrive to lose the ball as they attempt to recycle possession and Palace can break. But Willian steams back from the flag to run over the Palace player and stop the attack. Willian goes into the book, and rightly so.
16min: Abraham wins a foul after colliding with Ward and getting a sore blow to his ribs. He stays down for a minute, grimacing in pain, but seems okay to carry on.
14min: James wins the foul, 25 yards out, just right of center. Willian and Emerson have a conference. Willian takes and the flight looks perfect from the side-angle, but flies just on the wrong side of the post. Close!
12min: Abraham loses a header on the goal kick, but Willian jumps on the second ball and bursts through. He plays wide to Pulisic, in a bit of space. He drives at goal, fakes one man out, but Guaita blocks the wide-angle shot. Wasn’t much angle to finish by that time. Twinkle toes!
10min: Mount wins a foul against Kouyaté. Same ankle as against Ajax, but looks okay. Mount swings it in from the left channel, but Cahill heads clear powerfully.
9min: Willian wins a corner as he gets a cross blocked. Palace head clear.
7min: Pulisic tries to cut in again and create his own shot, but he pulls it wide of the near post.
5min: Kovačić with a brilliant tackle to stop Townsend, but he gets the pass to Mount all wrong and the chance for a counter is gone. Chelsea win the ball back on the throw and look to build.
3min: Tomori hacks clear Palace’s first foray into the final third before Kanté wins a free kick to get Chelsea back on the ball.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea immediately on the attack with Willian bursting through center. His ball left finds Pulisic but he’s crowded out. He dribbles inside and keeps the attack alive, squaring for Mount for a shot, which is blocked. A follow-up cross from James is palmed cleared by Guaita.
A potentially momentous weekend in the Premier League title race and the top four standings truly begins today, with Chelsea taking on Crystal Palace, followed later by Leicester City hosting Arsenal, and then tomorrow, Liverpool taking on Manchester City.
Things could look quite differently by then. Or they could look the same. Let’s win and find out.
As expected, Kanté makes his return. Not quite as expected is Azpilicueta dropped for Reece James, with Emerson at left back. Willian captains the side.
Here we go!
Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1)
Arrizabalaga | Emerson, Tomori, Zouma, James | Kovačić, Kanté | Pulisic, Mount, Willian (c) | Abraham
Substitutes from: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Giroud
Crystal Palace starting lineup (4-3-3):
Guaita | Van Aanholt, Cahill, Tomkins, Ward | Kouyaté, Milivojević (c), McArthur | Zaha, Ayew, Townsend
Substitutes from: Hennessey, Dann, Kelly, McCarthy, Riedewald, Schlupp, Benteke
Date / Time: November 9, 2019, 12:30 GMT; 7:30am EST; 6pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Mike Dean
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); Canal+ Sport 2, SuperSport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); HotStar (Inida); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!