European Champions Hand Vieira Tough Premier League Debut

It was a sobering afternoon at Stamford Bridge as the confidence exuding from the hosts was far too much for a Palace side clearly in transition to cope with. Such a fixture on opening day was always going to be difficult from the moment it was announced, and so it proved.


14th August 2021


Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace


Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS




Referee – Jonathan Moss. Assistants – Marc Perry, Timothy Wood. Fourth official – James Linington. VAR – Kevin Friend. Assistant VAR – Harry Lennard.



RED CARD – none


Marcos Alonso (27), Christian Pulisic (40), Trevor Chalobah (58)


This fixture was always going to be a big ask for any start to a new campaign but it was a baptism of fire for Patrick Vieira in his first competitive match in charge of Palace. The Champions League winners were just too good for a side that remains in transition under new stewardship so there should not be any judgement made after this first ninety minutes.

There are a number of players still to come into the side over the coming weeks and months and while it was not a particularly good performance, perhaps you just hand it to the opposition on this occasion and move on to the next.


13 VICENTE GUAITA (6.2) – One of the more consistent performers in a Palace shirt but he even looked a little rusty in this one.

2 JOEL WARD (6.5) – Struggled throughout the afternoon with the continued pressure out wide by the hosts and having to play as a wing back in a tactical change in the second half.

6 MARC GUEHI (6.0) – Made his debut for the Eagles but a result he will want to forget against his former side. One positive is that he always looks to pass the ball out from the back.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6.0) – With the signings the club have made this summer, there is more of a need for him to be playing in midfield, his natural position rather than filling in at centre back.

3 TYRICK MITCHELL (5.8) – Just like Ward, found it a difficult afternoon for the very same reasons.

44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (5.8) – Could not get to grips with the midfield which passed him by for much of the time he was on the pitch. Replaced by 49 JESURUN RAK-SAKYI (6.1) on 77 minutes to become the latest academy graduate to make it into the first team, and he did not look out of place.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (CAPTAIN! TEB MAN OF THE MATCH! – 6.9) – Made the most dribbles in the game and while it was difficult to pick a stand out player from a Palace perspective, Jimmy just about edged it from an average bunch.

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6.1) – Similar to Riedewald, struggled to find a way of combating the hosts grip on the midfield. Replaced by 16 JOACHIM ANDERSEN (6.2) on 57 minutes who showed some quality but game was gone shortly after his introduction.

9 JORDAN AYEW (6.6) – Found it difficult to find any real opportunities all afternoon, guilty of not looking up when in possession of the ball on a few occasions.

14 JEAN-PHILIPPE MATETA (6.5) – Surprise start for the Frenchman without any service he was never going to create anything. Replaced by 20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6.0) on 57 minutes, struggled to get into a game which had passed Palace by for the most part.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (5.9) – A game where we all hoped for that moment of brilliance we all know he is capable of, but unfortunately it did not come. One great chance when through on goal but could not dig the ball out to get a shot away.


1 Jack Butland, 17 Nathaniel Clyne, 34 Martin Kelly, 40 Scott Banks, 43 Reece Hannam, 46 Rob Street


16 Mendy, 14 Chalobah, 4 Christensen, 2 Rudiger, 28 Azpilicueta, 5 Jorginho, 8 Kovacic, 3 Alonso, 19 Mount, 10 Pulisic, 11 Werner

SUBSTITUTES – 1 Arrizabalaga, 6 Thiago Silva, 9 Abraham, 15 Zouma, 20 Hudson-Odoi, 21 Chilwell, 24 James (replaced Azpilicueta on 67 mins), 29 Havertz (replaced Pulisic on 82 mins), 33 Emerson (replaced Alonso on 86 mins)


The Who Scored man of the match was Marcos Alonso (9.0) while the most shots were from Marcos Alonso and Mason Mount (3). The most tackles were by Cezar Azpilicueta and Jorginho (5) while James McArthur (4) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 7.04 – 6.20
  • Total shots: 13 – 4
  • Shots on target: 6 – 1
  • Possession: 62.9% – 37.1
  • Pass success: 92% – 85%
  • Passes: 674 – 409
  • Dribbles: 8 – 13
  • Aerials won: 8 – 14
  • Tackles: 21 – 11
  • Fouls: 15 – 11
  • Corners: 5 – 2
  • Saves: 1 – 3
  • Dispossessed: 5 – 15


21/08/2021 Brentford (h) – Premier League (3pm)

24/08/2021 Watford (a) – League Cup (TBC)

28/08/2021 West Ham United – Premier League (3pm)



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