Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Talking points as Blues edge out Eagles to end winless streak

After four consecutive matches across two competitions without winning, Chelsea have finally bucked the trend by edging out Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday by a single goal, a brilliant piece of work by Kai Havertz with just over and hour gone.

Table standings

This game bore special significance for the two teams. They were three points apart in the Premier League table going into it and hat it gone the other way, Palace would’ve obviously caught up with Chelsea; it would have been a mark of success for the visitors, not so much for the hosts.

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But it didn’t go the other way. Chelsea won and have, for the time being, rejoined the race for the places leading into European competitions next term. They remain in 10th place, now with the same tally as Liverpool in ninth (28), though with one game played more than the Merseysiders. Nonetheless, manager Graham Potter is probably breathing easier right now, at least until he takes his team to Anfield at the end of the week for what will be, as strange as it sounds, a mid-table clash between the two giants.

As for Palace, they won’t have been too disappointed by losing at Stamford Bridge, though they may be feeling a tinge of regret for not taking advantage of the serious struggle Chelsea are going through at the moment to record a notable result. As it is, Patrick Vieira’s men are in 12th place with 22 points, seven more than all three currently occupying the relegation zone. They also have a game in hand on all three, as well as on every team in between except Leeds United in 14th.

It’s hard to say what their plans before the season would’ve been, but it’s likely that keeping a safe distance from danger is all they truly want.

The goalkeepers

The game saw only one goal scored despite numerous chances at both ends, shots rather difficult to keep out, but both Kepa Arrizabalaga for Chelsea and Vicente Guaita for Palace shone brightly at the two ends of the pitch.

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Kepa did very smartly to deny Tyrick Michel from close range, coming out just at the right moment to close the angle down and making himself as big as possible. He…


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