Chelsea take their time before putting Crystal Palace to bed

Ben Chilwell opens the scoring before Frank Lampard’s side finish with a flourish

Ben Chilwell opens the scoring for Chelsea against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/EPA

Ben Chilwell opens the scoring for Chelsea against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/EPA

 

Chelsea 4 Crystal Palace 0

Ben Chilwell vindicated his £45million transfer with a Premier League debut goal and assist as Chelsea thumped Crystal Palace 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The England full-back drilled home to put Chelsea ahead following a cagey, goalless first half, before laying on Kurt Zouma’s header.

Jorginho then stroked home two penalties in four minutes to seal a comfortable Chelsea win, their first home victory in the new league campaign.

Tammy Abraham tried to take the second of Chelsea’s two late penalties but was overruled by skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, who handed the ball to Jorginho.

The Italy midfielder had missed from the spot in Chelsea’s 2-0 home loss to Liverpool but delivered twice here, courtesy of his trademark skip-step run-up.

Chilwell showed exactly why Frank Lampard was so desperate to bring him to the Blues from Leicester in an impressive all-court performance.

The 23-year-old provided deadly set-piece delivery all day and kick-started the second-half goal glut with a fine finish.

Palace’s stifling tactics started well before kick-off, with the Eagles late out of the changing rooms to leave Chelsea’s quizzical players waving their arms in frustration.

Joel Ward got away with a sneaky elbow to Timo Werner’s face, with only the light contact letting the full-back escape censure.

Chelsea dominated possession but again lacked the speed of passing or fluidity of movement to break down the extremely well-drilled visitors.

Kai Havertz’s class and time on the ball stood out though, and the Germany playmaker’s ghosting run and pass laid on an inviting opening for Werner.

His national team-mate raced onto the ball only to scuff an attempted whipped effort, leaving Vicente Guaita a facile claim.

Abraham’s smart run across the face of goal not only opened up space for Havertz, it also perhaps provided the better option for a threaded pass.

Jorginho scores the first of his two penalties against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA
Jorginho scores the first of his two penalties against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Jorginho blazed over after Thiago Silva’s neatly flicked header, and then Callum Hudson-Odoi overhit a potentially threatening ball designed for Chilwell.

The bullish N’Golo Kante drove through midfield and split the defence with a delicate through ball — only for Abraham and Werner to make the same run and fluff a fine opening.

Mamadou Sakho nodded wide from a Palace corner in the visitors’ sole chance of the half, and the teams duly reached the interval in deadlock.

The stalemate was lifted quickly after the restart, however, when Chilwell drilled home sweetly for the hosts.

Hudson-Odoi lost then recovered the ball in the Palace box and laid off to Azpilicueta, and his deflected shot lofted across the box.

Abraham muscled his way to a smart flick-on, allowing the onrushing Chilwell to blast into the net.

Chelsea should have doubled their lead minutes later, but the unmarked Zouma could only head wide from Chilwell’s inch-perfect corner.

Zouma quickly atoned for that glaring miss by nodding home another Chilwell cross however, easing personal and collective Chelsea frustrations as the hosts took control.

Abraham should have made it three when thumping a header after Hudson-Odoi had skinned Tyrick Mitchell and delivered a fine cross.

The England striker won a penalty shortly afterwards though, drawing a foul from Mitchell.

Jorginho duly stepped up and converted in his typical calm fashion, leaving Chelsea in total control heading into the final stages.

Four minutes later Jorginho was hopping and skipping his way to another penalty goal, but only after Abraham had tried to swipe the spot-kick.

Skipper Azpilicueta was having none of it, calmly removing the ball from Abraham’s grasp and handing it to Jorginho.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.