A comprehensive win in front of the fans!
The Premier League season began on Friday night and the games continued on Saturday with Chelsea taking on Crystal Palace at a near full capacity Stamford Bridge. It was the first time fans were back in bulk across the grounds since the pandemic began so there was plenty of emotion in every single game. Vieira selected the same lineup that was predicted with former Chelsea player Guehi starting as centre back. Tuchel went with Mendy in goal and Chalobah, Christensen, and Rudiger making up the back 3. Azpilicueta, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Jorginho, and Kovacic in midfield. Mount, Pulisic, and Werner started up front.
It’s safe to say that Chelsea dominated from minute 1 in the 1st half. It was all Chelsea and the game was mostly played in the Palace half. The first proper chance came in the 10th minute as Alonso delivered a cross into he box that Pulisic headed straight at Guaita. Mason Mount then shot from distance but his shot was saved by Guaita. The first goal came in 27th minute as Mount was brought down outside the box. Alonso stepped up and shot a beautiful free kick with his left foot to give Chelsea the lead. The 2nd goal came in the 40th minute as Mount drilled a ball into the box and it deflected off of Guaita into Pulisic’s path who finished. 2-0 up at half time and Chelsea were cruising.
Palace came out trying to spark a comeback in the 2nd half as Zaha came close in the 53rd minute but his shot was saved. Chelsea made it 3 in the 58th minute as Chalobah drove forward and found space outside the Palace box. The defender listened to the fans chants of shoot and he shot and scored to score on his debut and the celebration of him just falling to his knees with emotion was great to see. Reece James came on for Chelsea in the 67th minute in place of Azpilicueta. Havertz and Emerson also came on late in the game for Pulisic, and Alonso. Chelsea saw out the final few minutes for a big win on the first day and it was great to see. The Blues could have arguably scored more goals but it was only the 2nd time that Chelsea scored 3 or more goals under Tuchel and that is a positive step along with a clean sheet.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy makes it clean sheet no 1 for the season in a game which he didn’t really need to do much. The first half was a cake walk while there were some moments in the 2nd half but nothing serious. A comfortable first game back.
Chalobah, Christensen, and Rudiger all had a great game. The back 3 basically played at the half way line and suffocated Palace in their own half. Any loose ball was vacuumed up by one of the three. Chalobah stood out though with this being his debut for the club in the Premier League. It was another great performance showing speed, power, intelligence and some very good passes as well. The icing on the cake was the goal from distance which pretty much confirmed the man of the match for him. A top performance and hopefully many more to come. Azpilicueta had a calm game while Alonso was the more dangerous of the two full backs. A brilliant goal for the Spaniard on the left and an overall solid display. Reece James got into dangerous positions and probably would have had an assist or two with Lukaku on the pitch. Emerson had very few minutes to make an impact.
Jorginho and Kovacic conducted the midfield to the t as they ran the game. Great interplay, great passing, great pressing it was typical performance by the two. Mount had a very good game as well basically getting 2 assists. Havertz came on for the final few minutes and did the simple stuff as well with little time to make an impact.
Pulisic had a good game overall and got a goal to top it off. The deep defensive line of Palace meant that there was little space to exploit the pace that him and Werner have but both showed good movement. Werner was a constant nuisance and kept popping up in dangerous areas. It is clear that once Chelsea have Lukaku playing up top and basically being a rock in the ocean of opposition defenders players like Pulisic, Werner, Havertz, and Mount wills start scoring more goals.
Tuchel could not have asked for a better performance in the first game especially after having played 120 minutes mid week. Everyone played out of their skin and the pressing was seriously off the charts. 3 goals will and a clean sheet will also please him. All this without the likes of Kante, and Lukaku.
Chelsea begin the season with 3 points and on a weekend where Manchester United and Liverpool also won it was key that they did. All the Blues can do is focus on themselves and take it game by game. The rest will happen if it’s meant to. A great game to start the season though and its epic to see the fans back, it really isn’t football without them. A week of training and recuperation with Lukaku starting on Monday and then it’s Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!