Trevoh Chalobah on target as Chelsea put three past Palace on opening day.
After clinching their second European trophy of the year on Wednesday, Chelsea returned to Premier League action as they faced Crystal Palace at the Bridge in their season opener.
The Blues not only entered the game with form and confidence, but was only boosted by the recent return of fans and spectators. With a tough running of fixtures approaching for their first six games, it was crucial that Tuchel’s side began proceedings positively with three points.
Their opponents were also out with a point to prove, encouraged by a variety of new signings alongside new manager – Patrick Vieira. Former Chelsea defender Marc Guehi – who was recently sold to the Eagles – was named in Palace’s starting eleven.
In typical Tuchel style, Chelsea started the game in control. The Blues game close to opening their season’s account on the 9th minute, as Christian Pulisic’s header glided into the midriff of Vicente Guatia.
Chelsea went on to have a further two shots on goal through Mateo Kovačić and Mason Mount – marking their authority on the game in the early stages.
The Blues remained on the front foot until they go their breakthrough, which arrived on the 27th minute as Marcos Alonso converted stunning free-kick to give Chelsea the lead over the London rivals.
From the opening whistle Tuchel’s side were firmly in control. They continued to work their way into dangerous positions and test the Crystal Palace defence.
On the 40th minute, the home side found their second with Christian Pulisic the scorer.
The goal stemmed from Mason Mount’s cross, which was hit hard and spilled by Guatia. Lurking inside the penalty area was Pulisic, who was in the right place to convert his fifth career goal against the visitors.
As the first half came to a close, Thomas Tuchel could have no complaints about how his side performed. The Blues merely looked out of first gear, with Palace yet have an attempt on goal.
After scoring earlier on in the game, Marcos Alonso had an eye for goal once again – this time seeing his volley saved by fellow Spaniard Guatia just a minute into the second half.
Just two minutes later, the fullback had another effort on goal from a freekick in a similar position to region he scored from. However, despite earlier success, the defender failed to hit the target on this occasion.
The first attack for Vieira’s side didn’t arrive until the 53rd minute. The move was led by Palace start Wilfried Zaha, but his effort was blocked and quickly shutdown by Blues defender Antonio Rüdiger.
Five minutes later, Chelsea put the nail in the coffin as they scored their third.
The goal was the strike of the night, with Trevoh Chalobah scoring from range on his debut to seal the victory for the Blues.
The final 30 minutes of the match was more of the same, with Chelsea remaining in control and seeing out a professional performance.
After the whistle:
Thomas Tuchel couldn’t ask for anything more from his players, who did everything asked of them to make life difficult for Crystal Palace from start to finish.
The visitors hardly go going in the game, with Chelsea dominating possession and generating success by finding their runners and drawing fouls.
Facing the Champions of Europe was always going to be a tough task for Patrick Vieira’s side, who will hope to bounce back next week against Brentford at Selhurst Park.
Next up for Chelsea is a trip to the Emirates where they will take on Arsenal – a side they haven’t beaten in the Premier League since December 2019.
Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace.
- Alonso (27’).
- Pulisic (40’).
- Chalobah (58’).
BBC Sports player of the match:
Timo Werner (Chelsea).
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Chalobah, Christensen, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta © (67’), Jorginho, Kovačić, Alonso (86’); Mount, Pulisic (82’); Werner.
- Subs: James (67’), Havertz (82’), Emerson (86’).
Crystal Palace (4-4-2: Guaita; Ward, Kouyaté, Guéhi, Mitchell; Ayew, Riedewald (77’), McArthur ©, Schlupp (57’); Zaha, Mateta (57’).
- Subs: Andersen (57’), Benteke (57’), Rak-Sayki (77’).
Chelsea (63%) vs Crystal Palace (37%).
Chelsea (13) vs Crystal Palace (4).
Shots on target:
Chelsea (6) vs Crystal Palace (1).
Chelsea (5) vs Crystal Palace ()2.
Chelsea (15) vs Crystal Palace (11).
- (credit | BBC Sport).
- (credit | Sky Sports Football).
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).