Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Graham Potter’s side stopped the rot and got back to winning ways.
This win coupled with the $108 million signing of Mykhailo Mudryk means there is a more positive vibe in the air after three defeats in four before this victory.
It was just their second win in their last 10 Premier League games as Kai Havertz’s second half header was enough to squeeze past a stubborn Palace side.
After suffering so many injuries, Potter once again shuffled his lineup around and Chelsea played with more intensity but still gave up plenty of chances as both goalkeepers were the stars of the show.
Chelsea now have 28 points on the season, while Crystal Palace remains on 22 as Patrick Vieira’s side have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions.
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Relief for Chelsea and Graham Potter
This win was more about grit, belief and showing a reaction than anything else. There was an extra intensity about Chelsea’s play, especially when they got the ball wide. Potter seemed happy enough with the chances they created going forward but he will be very relieved his goalkeeper Kepa was in sensational form. Chelsea still have a lot of injuries to work through and still look suspect defensively but they at least pressed high, took risks in attack and looked likely to score throughout this game. Their attacking display was much better and with the addition of Mudryk and Felix (when is back from suspension) they have some really dynamic players in the final third about to come into this lineup.
Stars of the show
Kepa Arrizabalaga: What a display from the Spanish goalkeeper. He made four fine stops during the game and he is the reason Chelsea won this game.
Hakim Ziyech: Whipped in the delicious cross for Havertz’s goal and looked more like the player who ripped it up with Morocco at the World Cup.
Vicente Guaita: Made some fine saves of his own and kept Palace in it.
Chelsea head to Liverpool on Saturday, Jan. 21, while Crystal Palace host Manchester United on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
How to watch Chelsea vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
FULL TIME: Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace – Late on Palace threw everything at Chelsea but they couldn’t create a clear chance to equalize. The Blues dug in well.
Save! What a stop from Kepa to deny Doucoure’s effort. Palace pushing hard to equalize late on.
Kepa denies a ROCKET from Doucoure! 🚀
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 15, 2023
Chances! Chelsea should be 2-0 up. Aubameyang is played in but Guaita comes out to save bravely. A few minutes later Havertz is found at the back post but he heads wide. Big opportunities.
GOALLL! Kai Havertz puts Chelsea 1-0 up. He heads home after a short corner is whipped in. Relief around Stamford Bridge. Great header by Havertz.
A perfect cross from Ziyech leads to a beautiful header from Kai Havertz! 🙌
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) January 15, 2023
Chelsea have started well in the second half. They are controlling the tempo of the game. It is a little less back and forth.
HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Crystal Palace – An entertaining first half as both goalkeepers have been called into action often. Good intensity about Chelsea’s play.
Save! Kepa with another great stop, as he denies a flicked header at the near post after a superb corner is whipped in. At the other end Guaita tips over a volley from Hakim Ziyech.
Close! Lewis Hall is found by Conor Gallagher at the back post and his shot back across goal takes a flick off Guaita and goes wild. Again, much better play from Chelsea. Graham Potter applauds from the sidelines. They’re getting the ball forward wide early and often and getting into the box.
Over! Kai Havertz nods over and he probably should hit the target. Guaita did just enough to put him off. Better from Chelsea, though.
Save! Vicente Guaita saves down low from Thiago Silva. Great effort and a great save.
Save! Kepa pushes away a brilliant volley from Michael Olise. It is all Palace right now.
Close! Chalobah and Kepa deny Palace with two fine blocks from close range. Palace are having all the play.
KICK OFF: We are underway at the Bridge and it is a tight, tense start. Chelsea are struggling to knit together passes.
Key storylines & star players
11 is also the number of players Potter will be without when he picks Sunday’s team, with N’Golo Kante, Raheem Sterling, Joao Felix, Christian Pulisic, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and five others currently out injured. It’s little wonder Chelsea have struggled to score goals and win games of late, but that hasn’t prevented the criticism currently coming Potter’s way.
As for Palace, the 4-0 defeat to Tottenham the last time out was a particularly low point in an ongoing run of bad results. Losing 3-0 to Fulham was perhaps even worse. The Eagles have failed to score a goal in three of their last four PL games as they generate precious scoring chances and struggle to finish the ones they do create.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Raheem Sterling (thigh), Joao Felix (suspension), Christian Pulisic (knee), Reece James (knee), Wesley Fofana (knee), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Armando Broja (knee), Denis Zakaria (thigh)
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 15, 2023
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (groin)
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 15, 2023