Chelsea thrash Palace to move fourth

Jorginho scored twice from the spot as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-0
Jorginho scored twice from the spot as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-0
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Summer signing Ben Chilwell scored one and assisted another on his first Premier League start since his £45m move from Leicester City as Chelsea returned to winning ways against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Having made his first appearance on Tuesday as Frank Lampard’s side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on penalties by Tottenham, Chilwell marked his 100th Premier League appearance by firing in at the back post following Mamadou Sakho’s failed clearance.

Chilwell, 23, then delivered an excellent cross from the left to allow Kurt Zouma to head in a second after 66 minutes, before Jorginho stepped up to convert two penalties in the space of four minutes to seal victory.

Manager Lampard also handed a league debut to £22m goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as the hosts, led in defence by fellow summer addition Thiago Silva, registered a first clean sheet of the season.

Deal of the day

The Blues struggled to break down a typically solid Palace defence in an uneventful first half, as Timo Werner shot straight at Vicente Guaita and both Jorginho and Abraham failed to hit the target from Chilwell corners.

Visitors Palace failed to muster a shot on target in a toothless display and never looked likely to respond as Chelsea’s quality told after the interval.

Kurt Zouma scored Chelsea's second goal of the game
Kurt Zouma scored Chelsea’s second goal of the game

Chelsea climb in to the top four before the rest of the weekend’s action, while defeat leaves Crystal Palace in eighth.

Lampard also handed a league debut to £22m goalkeeper Edouard Mendy – his latest recruit in a summer spending spree now beyond £220m in response to last year’s transfer ban.

“There is a lot of reactionary stuff about us because of expectation,” the Chelsea boss told BBC Sport.

“I do think people have to remain calm – that’s how I have to be, I can’t get caught up in it. It’s my job not to be reactionary and not get too upset or down.

“We got a lot of credit for coming fourth [last season] and we are not going to go from there to 100 instantly. We are a work in progress but I am up for that work and so are the players.”

In a comfortable first Premier League game, Senegal international Mendy kept Chelsea’s first clean sheet of the season as a lacklustre Palace failed to muster a shot on target.

There was a rare moment of discontent among the hosts’ ranks as Tammy Abraham, having won his side’s first penalty, felt aggrieved at being denied the opportunity to take the second by captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who shepherded him away from Jorginho.

On Abraham’s dispute with Jorginho, Lampard added: “I don’t mind Tammy’s exuberance but that has been dealt with by Azpilicueta and then me in the dressing room. I don’t mind a bit of conflict in the moment but it has been dealt with and won’t happen again.”

Following their first starts for the club in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit, Mendy and Chilwell’s league bows were among six changes made by Lampard to the side which clawed back a point in a 3-3 draw with promoted West Brom last weekend.

The Blues – who narrowly avoided back-to-back defeats on that occasion courtesy of Abraham’s late equaliser – dominated possession on Saturday but were initially frustrated in their attempts to unlock a Palace side content to sit back for much of the first half.

It was a rare error in the Eagles defence which allowed Chilwell to fire his new side ahead, as Sakho’s attempted headed clearance dropped perfectly for the England international.

With Palace forced to pursue an equaliser, Chelsea’s youthful side began to flow – with the free-to-roam Kai Havertz, 21, in particular a constant headache for the Eagles defence as he stretched the back-line with clever movement off the ball.

Chilwell had delivered delightful crosses from the left throughout and Zouma eventually took advantage to grant the left-back the assist his efforts deserved.

Abraham had gone close to adding a third from Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross before winning a penalty from Tyrick Mitchell shortly after, as Jorginho put the result beyond doubt with a cool spot-kick after 78 minutes.

And, after Havertz was felled by Sakho, the Italy international made no mistake with his second to lessen the chance of any ill-feeling from his unhappy team-mate.

Hodgson’s best-laid plans come unstuck

Roy Hodgson named an unchanged line-up from defeat at Everton last weekend, when a penalty decision described as “nonsense” by the 73-year-old ended the Eagles’ promising winning start to the new campaign.

Fortunately, there were no controversial handball decisions against his side at Stamford Bridge – where Hodgson could have no complaints about the two penalties conceded by his side as both Mitchell and Sakho were drawn into fouls.

The visitors successfully nullified Chelsea’s attack until Chilwell pounced in the 50th minute but, with a limited threat of their own, they never looked remotely like forcing a way back.

Wilfried Zaha, who looks set for another campaign as a Palace player as the summer transfer window draws to a close, and strike-partner Jordan Ayew, were starved of chances as their side spent long spells without the ball.

Hodgson made it clear during Friday’s press conference that the club will not accept any late bids for star player Zaha, already just one goal shy of last year’s four-goal league tally. He will require a much improved service to eclipse that in the weeks ahead.

On defeat, Hodgson said: “We were our own worst enemy today with the two penalties. The only one you could say [was a good goal] was the Zouma header, from a looping cross, but even there you would hope your centre-backs could deal with it.

“In the end we find ourselves on the end of a heavy beating. As a team we were nowhere near as good as we need to be to come to Chelsea and cause them problems.”

Chelsea’s London derby joy – the stats

  • None of the last 19 Premier League meetings between Chelsea and Crystal Palace have finished level, while Chelsea have won six consecutive league games against Crystal Palace for the first time.
  • The Blues have won more Premier League London derbies than any other side (133) and have lost just one of their last 11 of those fixtures at home.
  • Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have lost nine of their last 12 Premier League matches.
  • Since the start of last season, the Eagles have failed to score in the first half in 30 different league games – more than any other Premier League side over that period.
  • Jorginho became the second player to score two penalties in a Premier League game after manager Lampard did so for Chelsea against Aston Villa in March 2010.