Chelsea started with plenty of controlled possession, but without posing too much danger. Conversely, Palace had practically zero possession, until coming forward once, and scoring inside of the first seven minutes.
The match resumed without much change to its flow after that inauspicious start, and it took a solid 20 minutes before Chelsea were able to finally start actually threatening the Palace goal. Mount came close, Sterling hit the post, and Aubameyang whiffed on a corner routine — but then made up for that bit of amusement with a perfect blind volley on the turn to level proceedings just five minutes before the end of the half.
Other than the mistake for Palace’s goal, and that one time Thiago Silva intentionally handled the ball to stop an attack — just a yellow, correctly, since it wasn’t a denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity — Chelsea were fairly comfortable at the back for long stretches. The porosity of the midfield was a concern at times however.
The second half was more of the same story, with Havertz coming close a couple times as Chelsea kept pushing on the right flank. But the breakthrough would not arrive, and Palace were often the more threatening on the counter — though neither side really posed that much clear and present danger.
And then in the final minute, Conor Gallagher broke Palace hearts and brought joy to ours with an absolutely stupendous strike.
- Just two changes from the Salzburg match, one enforced (Chilwell in for the ailing Cucurella) the other tactical (Fofana for Azpilicueta), but also a more strict back-four formation (4-3-3/4-2-3-1/4-2-2-2 depending on situation).
- RLC on for Jorginho early in the second half, with Jorgi favoring his right hip as he walked off, wincing as he did. Broja & Gallagher on for Auba & Havertz for the final 15. Pulisic gets a few minutes at the end.
- First Chelsea goal for both Auba & Gallagher
- Next up: AC Milan at home on Wednesday