Crystal Palace v Chelsea: Premier League – live | Premier League
60 mins: I would accept sin-binning for any player who commits a foul throw.
Mateta gets into the box to receive a pass from Franca. The striker takes a shot from a tight angle which is blocked by Silva but I think he has done his groin in the process. Colwill preparing to come on.
58 mins: With Olise and Eze either side of Mateta tonight, Chelsea would have been in real trouble.
Gusto takes a dreadful foul throw but Oliver gives nothing.
56 mins: Hughes lifts a pass into the box for Lerma but his midfield colleague is not expecting it and fails to control the ball.
53 mins: “My answer to Dave Watton…no one knows,” says Brendan Large re Enzo. “He has had one good game for Chelsea, and that was the last game against Villa. He ran the midfield and scored a quite sublime free-kick. In all the other games for Chelsea (including this) he has not looked like a player of the £16m level, let alone £106m.”
51 mins: Gallagher whips in a corner to the front post, which is flicked on by Thiago Silva but Lerma is there it clear just in front of his own goal.
Chelsea come back at Palace through Gusto, who passes to Palmer, allowing the former City man to cut in and take a shot at goal but he drags it wide.
49 mins: Palace need to lift themselves once more after a promising first half. Chelsea are enjoying all the possession once more.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 1-1 Chelsea (Gallagher, 47)
That is better from Chelsea. Gusto gets down the right and sends in a fine cross, which Gallagher whacks in from 10 yards.
We eventually restart.
Oliver seems to be connected with everyone he needs to be. He gets a big cheer from the fans.
Pochettino goes for a chat with Michael Oliver. Maybe he has a spare screwdriver.
“Is Enzo Fernandez actually any good?” asks Dave Watton. “I struggle to see it, struggle to see him impacting games with stardust or dominating matches, but also struggle to judge the player without considering the price tag. Of all the Fernandezes in the Premier League he’s not the one who looks like a £100m player.”
The players are knocking it about among themselves while Oliver and a tech man attempt to sort the matter behind the dugouts. Ben Chilwell has gone over for a chat with the referee.
“For me it’s a foul on Caicedo by Lerma on the goal,” says Justin Madson. “The way the announcers are talking though, the quality of the goal means that doesn’t matter? Chalk one more up for refereeing/VAR insanity.
“I am not sure what Poch instructs his front line players to do, as all the game plan seems to be is stand in line with the defense and look wistfully back for a potential ball in. No runs, standing around, not finding space to occupy. Nothing to try to get defenders to move.
“Also, not to worry Brenden Large. Liverpool will be taking Xabi Alonso from Leverkusen – though Potter is still available if that falls through.”
I didn’t think it was a foul, personally.
There is a bit of a delay while Michael Oliver has his tech sorted.
Nkunku is coming on for Chelsea, Madueke off.
“It’s a breath of fresh air actually having someone on the pundits’ panel who knows about goalkeeping,” says Andy Flintoff. “It’s really frustrating hearing outfielders, who have barely played the position outside of a few minutes at training – if that – prattle on about something they know little about.
Petr Cech is being very interesting on Sky about goalkeeping and how Petrovic’s style counted against him on the goal.
“God I hope that Hodgson is the one under most pressure, because I can’t see how Chelsea could get in a better manager,” says Brendan Large. “I know Liverpool fans who would be more than happy to take Pochettino if Chelsea get rid, that should give a good indicator.
“Also which manager (apart from Mourinho) would take the job? The team barely know each other’s names at this stage and the ones being pushed out the door are those that have been there longest and have the biggest affinity with the club. It is a sh*t show and no mistake. The only way for this to have any chance is to give Poch time…I still think they would be in a much better place now if they’d let Potter have more time.”
“Having been at (and stayed to the end of) West Ham’s game yesterday I’m quite enjoying watching a side have 80% possession and be even less effective than us yesterday.”
Kudos to you, Ian Sargeant.
What should Chelsea do to change things? I would take off Fernandez, bring on Sterling and put Jackson down the middle with Palmer as a No 10.
Does Pochettino agree? Almost certainly not.
Half-time: Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea
It’s been a funny 45 minutes. Chelsea have enjoyed a lot of the ball but done next to nothing with it and have been punished by Lerma’s fine strike. Palace actually look the more effective in the final third.
45+2 mins: “Thanks to Peter Pearson (no relation, AFAIK) for the zacusa and zurek rabbit holes,” says Joe Pearson. “I might attempt the former, although I am not a huge eggplant fan, but the latter seems a bit beyond my level of adventurousness. I mean, fermented rye flour starter? I don’t think so.
45+1 mins: I am starting to think Chelsea need to make a change of two at the break.
45 mins: Gallagher has a decent chance inside the box but drags his shot just wide.
Three minutes added on.
44 mins: Gusto sends in another decent cross but Andersen is in the way and Palace clear.
42 mins: Mateta slips the ball into the box for Munoz. The full-back goes over under pressure from Silva but the referee does not award anything. VAR takes a look, too, but is not interested.
Palace then have another counter, led by Franca who does his best to get into the box but is held on the edge. The Brazilian certainly looks a lively prospect.
40 mins: Fernandez keeps passing to no one in particular and it is not going well for Chelsea.
38 mins: Petrovic legs it out of his area to reach a long ball over the top but he is beaten to it by his own defender. I am not sure it was the goalkeeper’s ball to go for anyway. Chelsea’s nerves are showing.
36 mins: I thought with so much possession early on, it would help build Chelsea’s confidence but they have been impressively meek.
34 mins: Caicedo is down and giving his knee a good rub.
Rose emails: “That’s what is infuriatingly called Cambridge Blue Will, which is in fact, duck egg green. Perhaps with a hint of melted mint choc chip. Apt, given Chelsea’s attack is as much use as a Cornetto left in the sun.”
Officially, according to Chelsea, it is ‘Eton blue’.
32 mins: Not a bad way to open your account for a club. Chelsea really failed to deal with the Palace attack there. They had numerous attempts to clear the ball and messed it up.
Peter Pearson emails: “Hi Will, great podcast today. My recent food revelation has been ajvar, or zacusa in Romanian according to the internet. It’s a pepper and eggplant spread. There’s a spot here in NYC that makes a mortadella sandwich with ajvar spread that is out of this world. Also this time of year it’s always nice to have a bowl of Polish zurek.”
We have plenty of said spread in the fridge.
30 mins: Lerma picks up a loose ball around 25 yards from goal, gets it out of his feet and pings it into the top corner. What a goal!
GOAL! Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea (Lerma, 30)
SHIT! DID YOU SEE THAT?!!
28 mins: Fernandez splits the Palace defence. The only problem being that no one in a pale blue (?) shirt is anywhere near the ball when he does.
26 mins: Madueke makes his way into the box but then turns around and sends the ball back 30 yards. It’s all a bit of a struggle.
Our man at the match …
24 mins: Hughes wins the ball just outside the Chelsea box and gets it to Mateta, who drives into the area but his powerful shot is straight at Petrovic.
Gary Neville reckons Palace have realised that Chelsea are pretty mediocre.
22 mins: Despite having complete control of the ball, Chelsea are yet to produce a shot, which is a concern.
20 mins: Gallagher whips in a corner which bounces before anyone can get a touch on it and Palace manage to clear.
18 mins: The stats say Chelsea have had the ball for four fifths of the match thus far. That is pretty dominant.
Palace do their best to counter but the pass from Franca has too much on it and Mateta cannot catch it.
16 mins: Most of Chelsea’s attacks are coming down their right. Gusto goes on the overlap once more but his cross is collected by Henderson with limited fuss.
One Chelsea issue is that natural striker Jackson is on the left and Palmer down the middle. Palmer is less of a threat in the six-yard box, I would argue.
14 mins: Chelsea are trying to force the issue down their right-hand side but Mitchell copes well with Madueke.
12 mins: Hughes is too quick for Fernandez and the midfielder clips him, giving Palace a free-kick in a dangerous possession on the right. Hughes to take … and it is tamely flicked wide by Richards.
10 mins: Palace’s plan seems to involve being quite direct and turning Thiago Silva around because he is pretty old. It could work.
Palace enjoy a slick move, sending the ball out to Ayew on the right but his cross is met by no one, possibly because Mateta is too slow to react to it.
8 mins: Chelsea are still having all the possession and Palace are not particularly eager with their press.
“Mr Unwin,” says a very formal Jon Rendall. “As a Palace fan, I am trepidatious regarding tonights outcome. The clouds above Selhurst suggest we’re in for a pumping. Tell me it won’t be so…
“Enjoy your insight on Football Weekly. Genuinely.”
*Blushes*. The signs are, sadly, ominous, Jon.
6 mins: Palace have a free-kick! It is lumped up the pitch and they manage a couple of touches before Ayew swipes a low shot from 20 yards but it is straight at the goalkeeper.
4 mins: Franca is done by Madueke’s quick feet and fouls him midway inside the Palace half. The free-kick is taken quickly to Gusto down the right but his cross goes over everyone. We are still waiting for Palace to touch the ball …
“I see a bowling analogy in this match,” Peter Oh has gone out on a limb. “Palace are the pins (made of Crystal). Chelsea are the (Boehly-ng) ball.
“Time will tell if the ball will produce a smashing strike, or a sorry gutter ball. You just can’t tell from Chelsea’s form.”
2 mins: Chelsea have had every touch so far tonight. Palace look happy to give them the ball. I am not sure the home fans will feel the same.
Richard Hirst says: “As a Fulham supporter I would normally be fervently anti-Chelsea and in favour of the Blessed Roy, but I don’t feel safe yet, despite three points on Saturday, so unfortunately it has to be the blues tonight.”
1 min:Dave Bryant emails: “Regarding the pic at the top of the blog, is tonight’s game in Mordor?”
*Googles ‘Mordor’* … yes.
Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!
Here come the teams!
“While being no great fan of Uncle Roy I do feel some sympathy for him. Palace have one of the weakest squads in the league,” says Paul Rowe. “Remove Eze and Olise and it’s very Championship in midfield and up top. They haven’t had a decent right back for ages and if Guehi, Anderson or Mitchell are out there is nobody of Premier League standard to replace them.
“Of course they might still win if bad Chelsea are playing tonight…”
Joe Pearson emails: “Any good Romanian leftovers lately? I need ideas for new dishes.”
My mother-in-law was over for Christmas, leaving us with enough to feed a family for a month. I made a chicken, bacon and bean stew for dinner. No leftovers, alas.
I am debating what can be done for Pancake Day tomorrow …
Monday Night Football have Belfast Giants goaltender Petr Cech on. What a get.
Speaking of Baz, you can hear him alongside Max, John Brewin and little old me on Football Weekly.
Check out Mr Glendenning’s Football Daily on this very match.
Which manager is under more pressure that is the question? I will say Hodgson. I would argue the Palace squad is pretty uninspiring but maybe a more dynamic coach would help get the best out of the those available.
Thiago Silva starts for Chelsea. Jacob Steinberg looks at the really old centre-back (one of the few Premier League players more advanced in years than I).
It is one of many London derbies as Chelsea make the lengthy journey to Selhurst Park. As it is half-term this week, the travel time should be halved, which will be a relief to the poor old coach driver. Personally, I would just have taken the train from London Bridge to Norwood Junction and walked the rest, but footballers are all prima donnas nowadays so want to travel on a fancy coach with coffee-making facilities.
The two managers, Roy Hodgson and Mauricio Pochettino, are under pressure. Both sets of fans think their respective teams are not reaching their potential. Hodgson is the more likely to receive the chop first but it would seem Palace’s top bosses do not know who would replace him in the dugout. They start the night in 15th place but have not lost in their past three home games, which should give them a little confidence.
Chelsea are still an enigma. Their expensive recruitment policy is yet to show its worth. A whopping billion quid has been spent on a squad that sits 11th and has failed to convince for the majority of the season. On the upside, the Blues put in their best performance last time out when they gave Aston Villa a shooing on their own patch in the FA Cup but their last Premier League outing was a miserable 4-2 home defeat to Wolves.