Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace: Premier League – as it happened

Scott Murray on 9 November 2019

Jacob Steinberg was our man at Stamford Bridge. Here’s his report. Enjoy ... and thanks for reading this MBM.


And now a word with Mr Roy. “I can’t really ask more of my players. Unfortunately we met a Chelsea that had their tails up, and who really wanted to win the game. If we kept in the game a little bit longer, we might have done a little bit more. We were growing into the game. I have no qualms about the way the players played, and the work we put in. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any points. I have no criticisms of anybody, we played one of the country’s top teams.”

Frank Lampard talks to BT. “We’re happy with what we’re doing. We respect where Liverpool and Manchester City are. This season is about bridging the gap. At the minute we’re staying close and we’re in good form. I’m proud of the players and I believe in them. It was a really impressive game from Reece James, against Wilfried Zaha, and he’s only going to get better. You never know with young players until you put them in. But they’ve shown they’ve got the mindset and ability and desire to play for Chelsea. I’ll enjoy maybe two bottles of wine tonight!”

Tammy Abraham, who today joined Jamie Vardy as the Premier League’s leading scorer, on ten, speaks to BT Sport. “It wasn’t out best game, but the most important thing was we got the three points. Crystal Palace are a good side, and in the first half they frustrated us. We believed, we didn’t change our style of play, we continued our attacking football and scored two goals. I’m so proud to be the number nine.”

FULL TIME: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace

It’s six wins in a row for Chelsea, and they go second in the Premier League table, for a few hours at least.

Chelsea managar Frank Lampard looks pleased with the result.
Chelsea managar Frank Lampard looks pleased with the result. Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images


90 min +4: Willian sends a power-curler towards the top left. Just over the bar.

90 min +3: Gilmour flicks the ball over McCarthy’s head, and is kicked for his cheek. A booking for the Palace sub, and it’s a free kick just outside the D. Willian’s eyes light up.

90 min +1: Kante finds Batshuayi on the penalty spot, with his back to goal. Batshuayi has Hudson-Odoi to his left, in acres of space, but a striker’s a striker’s a striker, and he opts to shoot on the turn instead. Wrong choice. Hudson-Odoi flings his arms around in frustration.

90 min: There will be four added minutes. While we wait for the clock to run down, here’s Mary Waltz, reporting from over the pond: “You have no idea how thrilled our nation’s football fans are to see one of our own show the skill and flair that Pulisic is displaying lately. Our men’s national team is in the doldrums and Pulisic gives us a ray of hope that things might improve. Maybe we can supply the Premier League something other then just goalies.”

88 min: Gilmour’s first touch sends Hudson-Odoi racing down the left. The striker cuts in and slaps a shot just wide of the bottom-right corner.

87 min: Mount is replaced by Billy Gilmour.

86 min: But this is much better. Zaha drives down the left, cuts inside, and pulls back for McCarthy, who slams a shot towards the bottom left from the edge of the box. Kepa is down quickly to smother.

85 min: McCarthy rolls a pass wide left for Zaha, who lets the ball run under his foot and out for a throw. Palace’s star man has been poor today. He looks beyond frustrated.

84 min: Schlupp clips Willian’s heels, and he’s fortunate not to go into the book.

83 min: Schlupp tries to release Ayew through the middle, but his pass is too heavy and Kepa is quickly out to claim.

82 min: Palace’s last substitution: McCarthy for Kouyate.

80 min: That’s Pulisic’s last contribution. The excellent USA international is replaced by Hudson-Odoi.

GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace (Pulisic 79)

Chelsea ping the ball around for a while. Then suddenly Kovacic, quarterbacking deep on the right, switches play towards Pulisic out on the left. Pulisic drives towards the box and slips inside for Batshuayi, who swivels and shoots. His shot is blocked, and loops into the air. Pulisic had kept running, and is in situ to guide a header home from six yards.

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic scores his team’s second goal.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic keeps his eye on the ball before heading home. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring their second goal.
Pulisic celebrates his goal. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images via Reuters


77 min: Willian sends Mount into space down the left. Mount shoots. Tomkins blocks. Chelsea come back at Palace, Emerson bombing down the left and screeching a shot across the face of goal. There must have been a deflection, because it results in a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece. Both teams are doing their damnedest to score the second goal of the afternoon.

75 min: Pulisic has the chance to slip Batshuayi free down the middle, but his sliderule pass is intercepted cannily by Tomkins.

73 min: Zouma will be good to continue. But it’s the end of the road for the goalscorer Abraham, who is replaced by Batshuayi.

72 min: Kelly crosses from the right. Ayew and Zouma clash heads. The ball drops to Zaha, who tries to nudge it back from the left in the hope of shooting towards the top right. But he can’t make room. Then the play’s stopped so Zouma can get treatment for his sore neep.

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma receives treatment from medical staff.
Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma receives treatment from medical staff. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images


70 min: Milivojevic curls the free kick to the far post. Tomkins is clear, and simply must score, but heads wide left. What a chance that was. Palace are beginning to ask a few questions of the hosts.

69 min: Tomori clips Ayew as the Palace striker tears down the right. It’ll be a free kick, and a chance to load the box. But first, on comes Schlupp for McArthur.

67 min: Mount slips a pass down the inside left. Pulisic cuts in from the wing and goes for goal. He scores three of your rugby points.

65 min: Zaha zips down the left and beats James again. He’s got options in the box, but balloons a cross over everyone in the area and out for a goal kick. But Palace come back at Chelsea in short order, McArthur crossing from a deep position on the right. Zaha, coming in at the far post, can’t get a header on target. Much better from Palace.

63 min: Zaha robs James, just inside the Chelsea box on the left. That’s some fine hassling. But the subsequent dribble is down a dead end, and there’s no chance to shoot or set up a team-mate.

61 min: But Chelsea really fancy this now, and they’re quickly coming back at Palace. Willian drives into the box from the left, and could go down having been nudged off balance. Instead he stays on his feet and tees up Abraham, who lashes wildly into the stand behind.

60 min: The corner’s hit way too long, a waste. But Abraham salvages the situation by winning a throw out on the right. From the throw, Kante finds space to shoot on the edge of the box. But he opts to lay off to Willian, who can’t get a shot away. Palace shut the door, just in time.

58 min: Pulisic dances in from the left and pearls a rising shot towards the top left. Guaita sticks out a strong arm to tip it over the bar.

56 min: Van Aanholt dribbles with purpose down the middle, and slips a pass to Kouyate, just inside the Chelsea box on the right. Kouyate is in acres of space, but doesn’t seem to realise it. He dithers before shooting, and his effort is blocked. But that’s better from Palace, who have to come out now.

54 min: It’s fair to say that Chelsea have rediscovered that early verve, then. Mount has a crack. It’s blocked, and nearly falls to Abraham, but luck’s not on their side and Palace survive.

GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace (Abraham 52)

So having said that, Chelsea immediately open the scoring. Kovacic bursts in from the left and lays off to Willian, who plays a first-time flick around the corner, sending Abraham free into the box down the inside-left channel. Abraham draws Guaita and slips the ball into the bottom right. What a lovely move!

Tammy Abraham of Chelsea slots the ball home to give the home side that lead.
Tammy Abraham of Chelsea slots the ball home to give the home side that lead. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/Shutterstock
Tammy Abraham of Chelsea celebrates with Christian Pulisic of Chelsea after scoring his team’s first goal.
Abraham celebrates with Christian Pulisi. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


51 min: More midfield noodling by Chelsea, who have lost their early verve. “Thanks for the article on Peter Reid,” writes Mary Waltz. “Leave it to a footballer to describe both of our countries leaders in one simple accurate sentence. Straight, no ice, pure.”

49 min: Chelsea are hogging the ball, but Palace continue to hold their shape. A heavy touch by Abraham on the edge of the box generates the first loud groan of the afternoon. A little bit of frustration bubbling to the surface.

Christian Pulisic of Chelsea is challenged by James Tomkins, Sam Woods and Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace.
Christian Pulisic of Chelsea is challenged by James Tomkins, Sam Woods and Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images


47 min: James looks to release Willian down the right. His pass is deflected off Mount, which means Willian is offside when the ball reaches him. Willian slams the shot into the side netting anyway.

Chelsea get the second half underway. It’s started to pelt down at Stamford Bridge. Stair rods. No half-time changes. Pulisic miscontrols just inside the Palace box. The ball spins up onto Kelly’s hand, but the defender was standing right next to Pulisic, and couldn’t get out of the way, even though he was withdrawing his hand at speed. On the touchline, Frank Lampard makes the claim with passion, but the referee’s not interested.

Half-time entertainment. You have got to love Peter Reid.

HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Crystal Palace

Chelsea walk off in the exasperated fashion. Palace have refused to buckle.

45 min +4: Kepa rolls the ball out to Zouma, putting the defender in trouble, with Zaha in close attendance. Zaha nearly strips Zouma, who stumbles, and is given the benefit of the doubt by the referee. A generous free kick. Chelsea go up the other end and nearly score themselves, James crossing from the right, Willian seeing his close-range shot blocked by former Stamford Bridge hero Cahill. A busy end to the half.

45 min +2: Kante crosses from the right. Pulisic rises highest and wins a header, but can only send it harmlessly over the bar.

45 min: There will be four added minutes.

44 min: Palace can now make their substitution. Ward, who looks to have a groin strain, limps off and is replaced by Martin Kelly.

43 min: Pulisic drops a shoulder and nearly skins Townsend. He earns a corner. Before that can be taken, Ward goes down, having hurt himself while challenging Emerson back there. Looks like he’ll be going off soon. But not before this corner. From the set piece, Willian tries to curl one into the top right, but Guaita claims calmly.

Crystal Palace’s goalkeeper Vicente Guaita catches the ball.
Crystal Palace’s goalkeeper Vicente Guaita catches the ball. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA


41 min: Willian is nudged to the ground by McArthur out on the right. A chance to load the Palace box. Willian will deliver. He hoicks long, in the hope of finding Emerson at the far post. Emerson wins a corner off Ward, but the flag goes up for offside. That’s a poor decision, as the Chelsea full-back was clearly on. But that’s the pressure off Palace.

39 min: See 37 min. Stamford Bridge has fallen a little quiet as a result.

37 min: A bit of possession in the Palace half for Chelsea. They’re held at arm’s length, though. Palace are beginning to look a little bit more comfortable. They’re keeping a good shape. Classic Roy.

35 min: James is the recipient of a lecture from Mike Dean, after the young full-back has a full and frank exchange of views with the linesman. An argument about nothing. He’s ordered to pipe down, but there’s no booking.

34 min: Another booking for Chelsea, who are suddenly looking a little ragged. Kovacic earns it for a slide into the back of Townsend.

32 min: Milivojevic whips the free kick over everyone in the box and out of play, wide right of goal. What a waste.

31 min: Palace ping the ball around in pretty triangles, and at speed, their first decent period of progressive possession in the match. Townsend is fouled, but the referee plays advantage. James then clatters Zaha, just to the left of the area. It’s a free kick. But first the ref goes back to book Emerson for the foul on Townsend.

29 min: Mount’s free kick is poor, straight into the Palace wall. He grimaces in frustration, a great chance to work Guaita spurned.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount shoots at goal from a free kick but the Palace wall does its job.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount shoots at goal from a free kick but the Palace wall does its job. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters


28 min: Mount is clumsily bundled over on the edge of the Palace D. He’ll get up and take this himself.

27 min: Pulisic dribbles down the left and somehow manages to create enough space to shoot, out of pretty much nothing. He’s a rare talent. But instead of shooting, he lays off for Kante, who is in a better position and takes a shot from the edge of the box. It’s blocked as it was whistling towards the bottom left.

25 min: Palace haven’t done much attacking so far. Zaha tries to get them going, slipping a speculative ball down the inside left for Ayew to chase. Zouma is on hand to shepherd the Palace striker away from the ball. Then Townsend embarks on a sortie down the right, but he can’t produce a worthwhile cross, and their rare excursion into Chelsea territory is over.

23 min: Emerson has a go at this one, and it’s not great. He’s looking for the top right, but he’s nowhere near. Goal kick.

22 min: Now Zaha goes in the book. He’s shown the yellow card for a blatant tug on Willian, who had just robbed him of possession and was making off down the inside right. Another free kick in a promising position for Chelsea.

20 min: Pulisic is a wonderful player. He tap-dances around in the Palace area, showcasing some fine ball control in a very limited space. He can’t quite open Palace up, but it’s an entertaining watch nonetheless.

19 min: Zaha nudges Kovacic off the ball. It’s a garden-variety free kick in the middle of the park, but Zaha is fortunate not to join Willian in the referee’s notebook, after kicking the ball away in frustration.

17 min: Yep, someone’s going into the book. But it’s not a Palace player. Emerson wins a corner for Chelsea out on the left. Willian takes, but Kouyate clears at the near post. Ayew looks to launch a quick counter down the right, and he’s cynically brought down by Willian, the Chelsea captain taking one for the team. Out comes the yellow.

16 min: Palace are giving away a lot of free kicks in their own half. Now it’s Ward, high-kicking Abraham out on the left wing. Chelsea do nothing with the set piece, but Palace can’t keep doing this. Someone will be going in the book sooner rather than later.

14 min: Willian curls a fantastic free kick over the wall, up and back down towards the top-right corner. Half of the stadium cheer, convinced the ball’s gone in, but it’s inches wide of the right-hand post. And Guaita had it covered in any case. A highly decent effort, though.

13 min: James is brought down by McArthur as he teases the Palace man down the inside-right channel. This is a free kick in a dangerous position. Willian fancies this.

12 min: Willian strides at great pace down the middle of the park. He slips the ball wide left for Pulisic, who enters the box and sends Ward sliding off in the Puskas-Wright style with a cute pullback. For a second it looks as though we’ll be witnessing a goal for the ages, but his next touch takes him too close to Guaita, who can smother. What skill, though. And what a pacy no-nonsense attack. Chelsea are very good to watch.

10 min: Mount nicks the ball off Kouyate and is immediately hacked down by Milivojevic for his cheek. A free kick out on the left, and a chance for Chelsea to load the box. Mount takes himself, and it’s a poor delivery, aimless and without pace. Palace clear this set piece as well.

9 min: Willian tears past Van Aanholt out on the right, and earns a corner off McArthur. He takes it himself. Abraham tries to get a header on target, but the ball skims off the top of his head. Palace clear.

7 min: Pulisic glides in from the left and takes a shot from distance. It dribbles wide of the left-hand post. Guaita had it covered.

6 min: Willian, captain for the day, goes on a dribble down the right. Some fancy footwork. He’s going nowhere this time, but Chelsea appear to be in a buoyant mood. Five league wins in a row, who can blame them?

4 min: Some possession in the midfield for Chelsea. Palace haven’t had a sniff yet. “Cakes sent to the soldiers in the trenches were normally egg free due to rations, and contained vinegar to help the cake to rise,” notes James Ellis, while contemplating the remembrance spread laid on in the press room. “I hope it’s at least authentic.” Wishing discomfort on a room of freeloading football journalists? Who could countenance such a thing? Ah.


2 min: The corner’s cleared without too much fuss. But what a statement of intent from Chelsea, who have got the hang of show-business rather quickly under Frank Lampard.

And we’re off! Chelsea are immediately on the front foot, and within 15 seconds Pulisic is on the edge of the Palace box looking for a chance to shoot. He can’t get one away, but Kovacic has a go instead. It’s blocked. Then James whips in a cross from the right, forcing Guaita to tip over for the first corner of the match.

The teams are out! Chelsea wear their famous royal blue, while Palace are in third-choice white with Team of the Eighties sash. It’s a fine atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, hopefully everyone’s enjoyed their lunch, whether in solid or liquid form. It’s a dreich day in west London, but hopefully Frank’s Freewheelers will bring the sunshine, one way or another. A blast of the Liquidator. A couple of Chelsea pensioners take to the field as Stamford Bridge remembers. We’ll be off in a minute.

Roy Hodgson speaks ahead of his 300th match in a Premier League dugout. “It doesn’t get easier, but it doesn’t get harder. The job is the same and it’s a job I love doing. I’m proud to have 300 Premier League games, it’s not easy to rack up that number. It’s a good day, but to make it a really good day it’s got to be a good performance for the Crystal Palace team, and hopefully some points to take home to Selhurst Park.”

Frank Lampard reflects on the wild and wonderful Ajax match. “I enjoyed it. Fans come to be entertained and it was an entertaining match, for good and for bad. I think it was more good for us, because of the spirit showed, but we must turn our heads to this game. It’s a tough match going into the international break. I’ve got a lot of respect for Roy Hodgson and they’re good on the road. It’s going to be tough and we need to be on it.”

There will be a minute’s silent reflection before kick-off in honour of the fallen. The lucky denizens of the press room will be able to show their gratitude for the ultimate sacrifices of generations past via the medium of sponge cake, because this is a thing now. The ration book is a nice period touch, and could be construed as acid comment on Chelsea’s transfer ban.

The press corps marches on its stomach.
The press corps marches on its stomach. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

N’Golo Kante is back for Chelsea! He’s one of three changes to the XI named for the absurd eight-goal thriller with Ajax. Also in: Emerson and young midweek hero Reece James. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta puts his feet up on the bench, while Jorginho (suspension) and Marcos Alonso (poor form) drop out altogether. Mason Mount passed a late fitness test on his ankle.

Palace make just the one change to the team named for the 2-0 defeat to Leicester last Sunday. Andros Townsend is back from injury and replaces Jeffrey Schlupp. James McArthur keeps his place despite a back problem.


The teams

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson, Kante, Kovacic, Willian, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham.
Subs: Christensen, Caballero, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Azpilicueta, Gilmour.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, van Aanholt, Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew.
Subs: Dann, Hennessey, Schlupp, Benteke, McCarthy, Kelly, Riedewald.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).


Chelsea are a lot of fun right now. So far this season, Frankie’s Freewheelers have been involved in a 7-1, a 5-2, a 4-2, a 4-1, a 3-2, two 2-2s and of course that wonderfully absurd 4-4 against Ajax the other night. Last weekend, were it not for Ben Foster, they could easily have beaten Watford by ten goals; as it panned out, were it not for Kepa Arrizabalaga, they’d have ended up drawing 2-2. They can just as easily ship points at home as thrash someone away. They’re making Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle look like Helenio Herrera’s Inter. Yeah, they’re a whole world of fun.

They’ve also won five Premier League matches in a row - a sequence that’s earned Lampard the manager-of-the-month award for October - so today’s visitors Crystal Palace will approach Stamford Bridge with some trepidation. The Eagles haven’t won in three, and they’ve only scored ten goals in their first 11 matches. In that sense, they’re going into the lion’s cage with neither whip nor chair.

Then again, Palace have already won at Old Trafford this season, no small feat even when Manchester United aren’t at the top of their game. And they came back from two goals down to draw at Arsenal, no small feat even when Arsenal etc., and so on, and so forth. Plus Roy Hodgson will be in a celebratory mood: it’s his 300th game as a Premier League manager. So congratulations to him for that.

Chelsea have won the last three against Palace, and everyone expects them to make it four in a row this lunchtime. Will they reclaim third place, for a few hours at least? Or will Palace frustrate another big boy on the road? We’re about to find out. It’s on!

Kick off: 12.30pm GMT.

Latest football headlines

Latest Football News