Chelsea smash Palace to register convincing opener win

Saturday, August 14th, 2021 19:30 |
Chelsea players celebrating after bagging three points against Crystal Palace. PHOTO/COURTESY

Champions League defending champions Chelsea kicked off their 2020/2021 season on a high note with a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Stamford Bridge.

The pressure was absolute and relentless from Chelsea as they created their first clear chance soon after kick-off.  

Spanish left-back Marco Alonso's cross was perfect for USA Captain Christian Pulisic, who was unmarked, but his header was too close to Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

The visiting side Palace could barely get out of their own defensive yard, with Alonso robbing Ayew to feed German Tim Werner, but the striker's return pass had too much power on it.

Werner was at it again after he managed to cut a clever pass back to Mateo Kovacic from near the corner flag and the midfielder's low effort from outside the box deflected wide with Palace getting the resulting corner.

Ghanaian Andrew Ayew was having a bit of a nightmare for Palace after losing possession and going on to concede a free-kick near the corner of the Palace box.

Chelsea winger Mason Mount attempted to catch Guaita by surprise with the free-kick, but the Palace goalkeeper punches his shot away at his near post.

The Thomas Thuchel side were up and running, with Alonso taking up free-kick duties around 25 yards from goal on the right-hand side of the Palace box, to curl a stunning effort over the wall and beyond the stationary Guaita.

This was a wonderful strike - and fully deserved to a 1-0 scoreline with the game shaping up to be a long afternoon for Patrick Vieira's side, who had barely had a kick.

Chelsea went on to launch attack after attack heading to the intervals with Mount's low cross-cut out by Guaita but Pulisic is alive to it.

The American captain latching onto the loose ball and finishes from close range. Stamford Bridge erupts for a second time. 2-0 heading to the changing room.

With complete and utter dominance from Chelsea, a Crystal Palace goal scoring opportunity from Ayew who played in Wilfred Zaha on the right-hand side of the Chelsea box, but his low effort was blocked by Rudiger for a corner.

A superb shot from the resulting corner proofed to be another effort on goal, with the set-piece headed back across goal at the far post, with Palace defender Schlupp firing over.

With Place wasting clear goal scoring opportunities on the other end, Chelsea were converting the limited opportunities provided to them.

Making his Premier League debut, Nathaniel Chalobah collected a Kovacic pass in an innocuous position, around 35 yards from the Palace goal, and had one thing on his mind. To score.

He takes a couple of touches, capitalising on the space in front of him, and smashes a brilliant strike into the far corner. 3-0 in favour of Chelsea.

Palace would ring a few changes to their squad, but it was not enough for the Vieira coached side as Chelsea held on to secure their first win of the season. 3-0 final score of the evening.

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