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      Report: Late VAR drama sees Palace slip to unfortunate defeat at Chelsea

      Mudryk 13'
      Madueke 89'
      Crystal Palace
      Olise 45+1'

      A last-gasp penalty saw Chelsea snatch all three points against Palace at Stamford Bridge, after Michael Olise’s equaliser had seen the Eagles look the more likely side to find a late winning goal.


      • Hodgson makes one change, with Eze returning to the XI for the first time since November.
      • Palace start on the front foot, with Andersen testing Petrovic from range.
      • Mitchell clears off the line after Henderson got a hand to Maatsen’s effort.
      • Chelsea open the scoring as Mudryk slams home from close-range.
      • Henderson saves crucially from Mudryk shortly after.
      • Olise brings Palace deservedly level with an incisive volleyed finish.
      • HT: Chelsea 1-1 Palace
      • Palace dominate the early periods of the second-half, threatening on multiple occasions.
      • Jackson misses from close-range as Chelsea fashion a chance from nothing.
      • Chelsea score a second through Jackson, but VAR intervenes to rule it out for offside.
      • Petrovic saves from Olise as Palace push for a winner.
      • VAR awards Chelsea late penalty, which Madueke converts.
      • FT: Chelsea 2-1 Palace

      With Eze and Olise reunited in the starting lineup, Palace began the game full of confidence. From kick-off their focus was on the positive, pushing forwards with every moment in possession and creating several nervy moments in the hosts’ back-line.

      Olise had the beating of Colwill and Gusto, and whipped several balls across the face of goal; Andersen tested Petrovic from range. The elusive opening goal remained just that, however: elusive.

      Not for the hosts, it would seem. Chelsea, while enjoying far less possession, possessed frightening pace on the counter-attack with Mykhailo Mudryk and Christopher Nkunku.

      Their first foray forward very nearly led to the breakthrough, as Ian Maatsen raced in on goal; Henderson’s fingertips took enough pace off the ball to allow Tyrick Mitchell to race back and scoop it off the line.

      Ultimately, it took misfortune on Palace’s part for the hosts’ to get their noses in front. Nathaniel Clyne’s slip allowed Nkunku to regain possession on the edge of the penalty area, slipping in Gusto who found Mudryk six yards out, and the Ukraine international slammed home.

      While Henderson could do nothing about it, he stood tall moments later to prevent Mudryk from scoring his, and Chelsea’s, second.

      Palace recovered and regained control of possession, but couldn’t deliver the final blow – until stoppage time at the end of the half. The Eagles wanted a moment of the highest quality, and they could once again rely on one from Olise.

      Huge credit should go to Chris Richards for his no-nonsense, thunderous, full-blooded, crunching – the superlatives could easily continue here – challenge to not only prevent the Chelsea counter-attack but win the ball back for Palace.

      Ayew picked up possession, picked up his head and picked out an unmarked Olise at the far-post, who took one touch to chest it down and another to fire into the back of the net. Level at the break.

      The opening stages of the second-half was less about clear-cut chances and more Palace’s calm control of possession, working the ball nicely, soaking up pressure when required and countering at speed when the opportunity arose. Jean-Philippe Mateta was a particular thorn in Chelsea’s side.

      Pochettino made two double substitutions in quick succession, the clearest indication of his dissatisfaction.

      Out of nothing they almost stole a lead. First Jackson missed – somehow – from close-range, before prodding home a moment later to seemingly give the hosts the lead. VAR intervened however, and it was chalked off for offside.

      But as Palace pushed for a winner, the VAR intervened again – and not in their favour. Eze was penalised for a late challenge, and Chelsea were awarded a penalty totally against the run of play in the final minute of normal time.

      Madueke stepped up and sent Henderson the wrong way. It was a gut-punch for the visitors, who had looked the more likely side to find a winner.

      Eight minutes of stoppage time followed during which there was no shortage of attacking intention from Palace to find an equaliser, but to no avail: the Eagles performance, which had warranted so much more, had been rewarded with defeat.

      Chelsea: Petrovic (GK), Diasi, Badiashille (Gilchrist, 90+2), Mudryk (Madueke, 70), Jackson, Nkunku (Broja, 70), Gallagher, Caicedo, Colwill (Lavia, 57), Gusto, Maatsen (Silva, 57).

      Subs: Bettinelli (GK), Bergstrom (GK), Matos, Castledine.

      Palace: Henderson (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Richards, Lerma (França, 90), Eze, Olise, Mateta, Ayew (Schlupp, 79).

      Subs: Matthews (GK), Tomkins, Adaramola, Ozoh, Riedewald, Hughes, Ahamada.

      As it happened