The match kicked off with a several-minute delay after Crystal Palace were late coming out of their dressing room (which is in the Chelsea health club behind the stadium these days), but the visitors certainly weren’t lethargic in their play, continuing their good form of the early season and keeping Chelsea contained to largely ineffective possession.
That’s certainly been a familiar sight for Chelsea, but on the plus side, we kept Palace’s counter threat to minimum, with Zaha invisible in the scoreless first half.
Chelsea came out with a bit more purpose in the second half, and we didn’t have to wait too long to collect our reward. Hudson-Odoi got a bit lucky to get the ball back from Sakho after initially losing it, but there was no doubt about Ben Chilwell’s hammer of a finish. The left back arrived with perfect timing after Abraham knocked on the ball that had spun up from Azpi’s shot, who had made the underlap on Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea kept the pressure on, and after coming close from a corner some minutes prior, Zouma managed to direct a header over Guaita from a second phase cross from Chilwell.
Palace came out of their shell at that point, but Chelsea instead put the game to bed with a third. Abraham won the penalty, Jorginho converted it after failing to do so against Liverpool.
Jorginho made his a brace of goals from the spot after Havertz won another penalty soon after. Tammy tried to add some drama by grabbing the ball and trying to take the spot kick, but Jorginho pulled rank with Captain Azpi adjudicating.
It was comfortable enough at the end to give Pulisic a run-out as well.
All in all, a great day and a great second half especially.
- Lampard with several changes from midweek, with Thiago Silva restored ahead of Tomori, Kanté returning instead of Kovačić, Havertz replacing Mount, and Abraham getting the nod over Giroud.
- Stray reports of a potential Kanté thigh strain?
- Clean sheet! Chelsea controlled Palace and Zaha especially, and restricted any real chance of counters.
- Lampard fashion watch: tracksuit still shelved; keeping it casual with a polo shirt and slacks. Keep this one.
- Next up: international break, then Southampton at home and the start of our Champions League group stage campaign.