Chelsea breeze past Crystal Palace as Pulisic returns

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LONDON — Chelsea – Crystal Palace was a very one-sided encounter as Chelsea breezed to a 4-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

All four goals came in the second half as Ben Chilwell scored then assisted Kurt Zouma before Jorginho’s two late penalty kicks sealed the win in style.

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Chelsea have now won two of their opening four games as Christian Pulisic returned from injury in another big boost for the Blues.


3 things we learned: Chelsea – Crystal Palace

1. Chilwell, Thiago Silva a big upgrade: His goal and assist showcased his attacking quality, but Chilwell seemed to make all of the other Chelsea players around him relax. Kurt Zouma, playing as the left-sided center back, hardly put a foot wrong. The man alongside him was good too. Silva had a wobbly PL debut against West Brom but his positioning was spot on and he never looked under pressure. Good signs for Chelsea, defensively, as two new additions made a big difference.

2. Palace not given space on the break: Many believed that this would be a perfect game for Palace. An away day against a team eager to impress, surely there would be gaps on the break? Wrong. In the first half there were a few but with Thiago Silva and Cesar Apzilicueta among the back four, neither pushed high and Chelsea were happy to sit deep and build from the back. That didn’t suit Palace and Wilfried Zaha hardly had a kick.

3. Edouard Mendy, Kai Havertz still settling in: Mendy was safe enough and claimed crosses and was brave when he needed to be, but his kicking was a little all over the place at times. It is still early days, but he seems to provide more stability to Chelsea’s defense compared to Kepa. A clean sheet will help with that. Havertz and Werner still haven’t quite got going either, as Werner didn’t make the most of chances and Havertz gave the ball away a few times but did win a penalty. They are settling in nicely though.

Man of the Match: Ben Chilwell – A goal and assist on his Premier League debut for Chelsea and was very good defensively and going forward.


Olivier Giroud extremely vocal from the sidelines as he urged more movement from the Chelsea players at corner kick situations.

Azpilicueta whipped in a cross from the right which Kai Havertz almost got on the end of as Chelsea dominated play early on. Palace sat back and soaked up pressure, but looked dangerous on the break.

Jorginho fired over after a free kick dropped his way as Chelsea continued to press in a tight, tense game with Werner shooting straight at Guaita from a good position.

Abraham was denied by Guaita as Chelsea dominated but couldn’t open the scoring in the first half against a very solid Palace side.

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It didn’t take long for Chelsea to take the lead in the second half.

Hudson-Odoi caused some problems down the right and after a poor clearance Azpilicueta’s cross was deflected and flicked on by Abraham as the onrushing Chilwell scored a goal on his Premier League debut for Chelsea.

Kurt Zouma flicked a header just wide from a corner soon after as Chelsea pushed for a second but Mendy looked a little shaky in possession out of the back. The second did arrive though, as Hudson-Odoi combined with Chilwell and his cross was headed home by Zouma. 2-0. Job done.

Hudson-Odoi whipped in a great cross from the right but Abraham just flicked wide as Chelsea looked more likely to score a third than Palace getting back in the game.

Abraham won a penalty kick after being tripped in the box by Mitchell and Jorghino finished, then Havertz was tripped as Jorginho scored with the exact same penalty to make it 4-0.