Kai Havertz’s brilliant header in the 64th minute gave Chelsea a much needed 1-0 win against fellow London rivals Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening. New €100m signing Mykhailo Mudryk was in attendance to witness the evenly contested affair, but it was the home side who grabbed three points to ease mounting pressure […]
Kai Havertz’s brilliant header in the 64th minute gave Chelsea a much needed 1-0 win against fellow London rivals Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.
New €100m signing Mykhailo Mudryk was in attendance to witness the evenly contested affair, but it was the home side who grabbed three points to ease mounting pressure on manager Graham Potter.
Chelsea dominated possession in the first half, but the hosts only managed to create very few openings against Patrick Vieria’s men. Havertz should have given Chelsea the lead in the 32nd minute but arrowed in his header over the bar from just 8 yards after a wonderful ball from Hakim Ziyech.
Minutes later Lewis Hall was inches wide from breaking the deadlock after Connor Gallagher’s dangerous ball was met at the far post by the teenage defender.
It was scoreless at the break, but Palace came out the better of the two sides as they tried to get a foothold into the game.
However, it remained scrappy with neither sides getting into a free flowing rhythm. Wilfried Zaha tested Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fizzing strike in the 55th minute but the Spanish shot stopper did well to keep the visitors at bay.
Chelsea convert pressure
After a spell of sustained Chelsea pressure at the hour mark, the hosts finally got the lead from Havertz’s header in the 65th minute. Following a short corner Ziyech played a one two with Gallagher before swinging in a delicious lofted cross from the left wing from which Havertz rose highest to slot past Vicente Guaita in the Palace net.
The German should have got his second of the game in the 80th minute but surprisingly glanced wide from just 4 yards from Mason Mount’s cross.
Chelsea survive late onslaught
Palace could have had their equalizer in the 86th minute but Kepa produced an astonishing save from Cheick Doucoure’s brilliant volley from the edge of the box. Chelsea sustained late pressure in the dying stages of the game to hold on for their first win in 4 league games.
The Blues currently sit tenth in the standings and will travel to Anfield next weekend to take on Liverpool. For Palace, signs are looking ominous as Vieria’s side have now lost 4 of their last 5 games and they would need to stem the rot else they might be dragged into a relegation battle.
Photo credit: IMAGO Paul Terry / Sportimage