Crystal Palace Deserved the 3 Points

by - October 14, 2017

This was a game which on paper looked like a comfortable one sided affair. Crystal Palace are breaking all sorts of unwanted Premier League records for fun, whilst the defending champions have at times been looking imperious in victory, especially away from home - Chelsea had won more away points than any other team in Europe’s main leagues this season.

However both sides were going into this match with major concerns. Crystal Palace have forgotten their best asset, especially at home - showing the highest levels of effort and commitment both with and without the ball in possession.  Meanwhile Chelsea would need to answer how they could cope with their talisman Kante and the red hot Morata.

Straight from the kick off it was clear that the Palace players had started to understand their plight and managed to regularly win the ball all over the pitch. They would not allow any of the Chelsea players to settle and this led to them finally getting their first Premier League goal of the season. When you have been on such a torrid run of form, it quite often comes to an end with a slice of luck and today was a great example of that. Cabaye chested the ball down in the Chelsea area and was immediately challenged by Luiz. However the defender’s effort ricocheted back off Cabaye and then was deflected past Courtois by Azpilicueta.

Then came a bigger surprise for the score line. Whilst the home team were buoyed by their deserved lead and were playing the better and more threatening football, a powerful header from Bakayoko levelled the scores.

Crystal Palace continued to press and Chelsea were struggling to settle into any sort of rhythm. Shortly before half time Zaha’s clever turn, run and finish put the home team back into the lead.

With relatively few central midfield and striker options, Antonio Conte got his team to push forward and press higher up the pitch the best he could. Steadily the home team were unable to keep the pressure on the ball and they started to be pressed into continual defence. The Blues were dominating and creating regular chances, all of which were wasted. The match even finished with Palace having regular breaks through a very thin Chelsea back line as Luiz and Azpilicueta pushed forward.

It shouldn’t come as that big a surprise that neither side could find the goal their were looking for in the second half. There were no fully recognised strikers left on the pitch for the last 33 minutes - Batshauyi showing his annoyance at his substitution whilst Conte was maybe also thinking of the key Champions League match coming up on Wednesday.

The end result was that Palace not only got their first league goals of the season but also their first 3 points. Chelsea showed that they are still vulnerable to a hard pressing, organised team, especially when they are not at full strength. With back to back matches against Roma and a couple more very winnable Premier League matches coming up they will need to regroup and focus without another first team starter with Moses hobbling off holding his hamstring. However they can take strength in the periods of dominance they showed in the second half with how many chances they created.

However this match was all about how a team who’ve suffered the most this season can roll their collective sleeves up and get a fantastic result against the odds.

Written by Jon Ellis, Chelsea FC home and away season ticket holder. Follow me on twitter: @ClitheroeBlue

You May Also Like