Chelsea back to winning ways in Premier League thanks to Kepa and Havertz

Kai Havertz, Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Kai Havertz, Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Chelsea came under pressure from Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, but Kepa and Havertz secured important win in Premier League

Looking to climb up the Premier League standings to dream of a spot in the next UEFA Champions League, Chelsea hosted Crystal Palace for the 20th matchday, at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues’ recent record was negative with only one win in their last nine Premier League matches. Moreover, manager Graham Potter heard cries of “Thomas Tuchel” in the stands with the three consecutive defeats, as well as the FA Cup elimination against Manchester City.

For this duel, Graham Potter has made five changes from the defeat to Fulham last Thursday. Badiashile and Chukwuemeka were the biggest new additions with their first appearances in the starting line-up. Gallagher, Jorginho and Ziyech returned to the starting line-up.

At the other end, manager Patrick Vieira executed three changes from the FA Cup elimination to Southampton. Mitchell returned from suspension, while Schlupp and Eze earned a new chance in the starting line-up.

Chelsea overcame difficulties to get back to winning path

Even with some new additions to the starting line-up, Chelsea were under pressure from Crystal Palace early on. Kepa made two fine saves to keep out goals from Mitchell and Olse.

The Blues grew in stature only towards the end of the first half, thanks to good performances from Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz. However, before the break, Kepa once again gained prominence and prevented Schlupp’s goal in the near post.

Chelsea’s performance improved on recent performances, but Chelsea needed better assertiveness in their shots on target, with only one real opportunity during the first half.

Chelsea also again suffered from pressure from the opposition at various times even playing at Stamford Bridge, a situation that remained in Crystal Palace’s favour for much of the second half.

One of the big news for Chelsea fans in this match was the return of Aubameyang, replacing Chukwuemeka in the 63rd minute. In the next move, Kai Havertz took the chance in the small area and made the atmosphere more favourable after a cross from Ziyech.

The Blues’ advantage did not dampen Crystal Palace’s competitive edge as they pressed hard in the closing minutes and almost grabbed an equaliser from Doucoure’s volley from outside the area.

Weekend ends with good news for Blues

Even with the win and four shots on target in the second half, Chelsea once again performed below their potential and goalkeeper Kepa was sorely needed as the defensive system failed to keep the ball away from the attacking third.

Still, the halting of the winless streak and the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk could generate a new lease of life for the Blues of Stanford.