The game was effectively over as a contest in the opening ten minutes as the visitors were quick off the mark to get themselves into an early lead which they never looked like squandering.
10th April 2021
Crystal Palace 1-4 Chelsea
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
Behind closed doors
Referee: Michael Oliver. Assistants: Stuart Burt, Dan Cook. Fourth official: Graham Scott. VAR: Mike Dean. Assistant VAR: Ian Hussin.
BOOKINGS – Cheikhou Kouyate
RED CARD – none
Kai Havertz (8), Christian Pulisic (10, 78), Kurt Zouma (30), Christian Benteke (63)
TEB MAN OF THE MATCH
The quality of Chelsea shone through and Palace could do little about it even though there was some more fight in the second half after a poor first forty-five. The frustration is that there was no response from the touchline until it was too late but perhaps there was a real case of holding your hands up and accepting we were to be second best on the night. However, after all the good work at Goodison on Monday night, it was a return to a lack of threat up front with one shot the whole game which is a huge problem.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
A couple of referrals but nothing of any note
BOB’S POINT OF VIEW
Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.
“A game in which we were the polar opposite to the intensity shown at Everton on Monday night. To be fair, Chelsea were obviously determined to put last week’s poor result and lacklustre performance to bed. Within ten minutes Chelsea were two goals up and the game effectively decided. It took us until Chelsea scored their third after half an hour for our players to show any sign of attacking intent.
Passivity aside in the first half, Hodgson’s reluctance to change our tactical shape when we were clearly outnumbered in key areas of the pitch was very disappointing. At the top level in-game tactical flexibility especially against the best teams in this league is essential. At least in the second half especially with the introduction of Schlupp we played at a higher tempo, pressed higher up the pitch and posed some questions of the Chelsea defence.
It confirms once again that although most Palace supporters are grateful to Hodgson for giving us a ninth season in the top flight, a change of personnel is required this summer. In the short term, we now have the opportunity on the training ground in the next fortnight to reset again and ensure the remainder of the season is not defined by the malaise we saw last year.”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – Conceded four but could have been more had it not been for his saves.
2 JOEL WARD (6) – Was under pressure the whole game, just like the rest of the back line, did as well as he could.
24 GARY CAHILL ( 6) – Blocks galore but was guilty of losing out in an aerial challenge for one of the goals.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6 – BOOKED!) – A first half booking left him walking a tightrope for the rest of the game. Going down to ten men in this game was not an option.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – Guilty of not being in line with the rest of the defence on a couple of occasions but was one of the top tacklers from the game.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (5) – Poor game from the Dutchman but he was not alone, the game passed him by. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 59 minutes who settled in quickly on his return and at least provided some bite we were missing.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6) – Not a lot better than his midfield partner but did keep trying to get a foothold in the game but ended up overrun.
9 JORDAN AYEW (6) – Found it hard in the first half but started to halve some influence in the second half but not enough to have an impact. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 76 minutes who failed to get into the game in the short time he was given.
25 EBERECHI EZE (5) – Struggled the whole game as was guilty for one of the guys trying to use the ball instead of clearing before losing out. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7 – ASSIST!) on 59 minutes who had an impact like he did at Everton with an excellent assist to set up Benteke.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – A frustrated character throughout the game and never really got going.
20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7 – GOAL!) – Took his goal well which was the only chance that fell his way, but that is exactly how we should be using him, to his strengths. Otherwise ran a thankless task up front with very little support.
1 Jack Butland, 6 Scott Dann, 14 Jean-Philippe Mateta, 27 Tyrick Mitchell, 34 Martin Kelly, 39 Jesurun Rak-Sakyi
1 Mendy, 28 Azpilicueta, 15 Zouma, 2 Rudiger, 20 Hudson-Odoi, 5 Jorginho, 17 Kovacic, 21 Chilwell, 19 Mount, 10 Pulisic, 29 Havertz
SUBSTITUTES – 1 Arrizabalaga, 3 Alonso, 7 Kante (replaced Jorginho on 61 mins), 9 Abraham, 11 Werner, 18 Giroud, 22 Ziyech (replaced Kovacic on 83 mins), 24 James (replaced Hudson-Odoi on 76 mins), 33 Emerson
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “We know they are a good side, everybody knows that, but we cannot afford to play the way we did in the first half. Both of the first two goals came about through balls lost near our own goal. Suddenly they find themselves 2-0 up after ten minutes. We needed to defend well and make good decisions. How many teams can come back from 3-0 down against this Chelsea team? To give some credit the players did better in the second half and showed some fight in them but the bottom line is we played against a Chelsea team that we believed we could stretch and we’re on the back end of a 4-1 defeat and needed to do some last-ditch defending to keep it down to four.”
THOMAS TUCHEL – “It was very good. We started very well, very aggressive and we had a high percentage of possession. We also had a good switch of play and we had a lot of touches in the box – so a very good performance. We have the feeling we could’ve scored more but we deserved that and that’s a nice feeling for our self-confidence.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Christian Pulisic (9.1) while the most shots were from Kai Havertz and Mason Mount (5). The most tackles were by Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Pulisic (4) while Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha (3) had the most dribbles.
- Team rating: 6.33 – 7.33
- Total shots: 1 – 23
- Shots on target: 1 – 10
- Possession: 35.6% – 64.4%
- Pass success: 77% – 90%
- Passes: 424 – 767
- Dribbles: 8 – 9
- Aerials won: 26 – 17
- Tackles: 14 – 20
- Fouls: 7 – 12
- Corners: 0 – 8
- Saves: 5 – 0
- Dispossessed: 11 – 11
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace have 38 points from 31 games played and sit 13th in the Premier League (at the final whistle), level on points with Wolves in 12th and 2 points ahead of Southampton in 14th.
26/04/2021 Leicester City (a) – Premier League (8pm)
01/05/2021 Manchester City (h) – Premier League (3pm)
08/05/2021 Sheffield United (a) – Premier League (3pm)