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      Report and reaction: Palace narrowly beaten at Stamford Bridge

      Havertz 64'
      Crystal Palace

      Chelsea withstood a late Palace onslaught as Kai Havertz's second-half goal proved enough to win all three points in a fiery game at Stamford Bridge.

      How it happened:

      • Vieira makes three changes, with Mitchell, Eze and Schlupp returning to the side.
      • Kepa is forced into a flying save from Olise’s well-struck volley.
      • Guaita’s reflex stop keeps Thiago Silva’s effort out.
      • HT: Chelsea 0-0 Palace
      • Havertz opens the scoring, nodding home at the near post.
      • The German almost doubles the advantage, but can't make contact with the goal gaping.
      • Doucoure's dipping volley forces Kepa into a fine save.
      • Frantic final moments as Palace pour forwards, but Chelsea hold firm.
      • FT: Chelsea 1-0 Palace

      Palace were boosted by the return of Tyrick Mitchell; Wilfried Zaha led the line flanked by Jordan Ayew and Michael Olise.

      They started positively and pressured Chelsea on the ball, with Mitchell coming closest to opening the scoring as he was denied by Kepa from close range. Moments later the ‘keeper was called into action once again, as he tipped Michael Olise’s dipping volley behind.

      The hosts created chances of their own, and Lewis Hall fired narrowly wide from the angle before Kai Havertz nodded over the crossbar when he had acres of space in the penalty area.

      He wasn’t as profligate the second time of asking, however, and shortly after the restart he powered Chelsea into the lead. It was a short corner routine that came off beautifully, as Hakim Ziyech found space to cross towards the near-post where the German found the back of the net.

      Havertz could have doubled Chelsea’s – and his own – tally soon after, but failed to make enough contact at the far-post when the goal was gaping.

      At the other end, Cheick Doucouré unleashed a rasping volley from 25-yards out that Kepa only just managed to tip behind.

      Palace finished the game strongly and kept pushing forwards into seven minutes of stoppage time, but they could not find a way through; it meant three points for the hosts, and attentions in south London turning to Manchester United on Wednesday evening.

      Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Badiashile, Mukinayi, Jorginho, Silva, Chalobah, Mount, Ziyech (Kovacic¸89), Gallagher, Havertz (Azpilicueta, 89), Chukwuemeka (Aubameyang, 63), Hall (Koulibaly, 78).

      Subs not used: Bettinelli (GK), Loftus-Cheek, Fofana, Cucurella, Humphreys.

      Palace: Guaita (GK), Clyne, Guéhi, Andersen (Tomkins, 37), Mitchell, Doucouré, Schlupp (Hughes, 69), Zaha, Eze (Mateta, 69), Olise, Ayew (Edouard, 69).

      Subs not used: Johnstone (GK), Ward, Milivojevic, Richards, Ozoh.

      Mitchell: Palace unlucky to lose


      Tyrick Mitchell spoke to Palace TV+ after the game.

      “I think we did well at times, but just that crucial moment we lacked that little bit of concentration on a set-piece and we got punished,” he said. “We had some good opportunities to score, and the ‘keeper pulled off some good saves.

      “It just wasn’t our day. It was unlucky, a load of our chances were unlucky today.

      “As a player it was frustrating [to be suspended] but I just had to cheer the team on and support them from the sidelines.

      “I’m feeling physically good. I had time to rest and get my physical side back, so I’m feeling good. I’m disappointed but at the same time we have a couple of days and we can make it right.”

      Vieira reacts to defeat

      16:30<br> Patrick Vieira expressed his frustration as his Crystal Palace side saw their positive performance at Stamford Bridge go unrewarded.

      Palace failed to capitalise on a number of chances as Chelsea held firm and withstood a late barrage from the visitors.

      “I think we did enough to get at least a point today,” Vieira said at his post-match press conference. “The other side is to look at chances created. Today again we created enough chances to score goals.

      “The problem is not about that. The most difficult thing is to create chances. It’s about scoring: we should score more goals, that is a fact.

      “We have quality players who can do that. At the moment it is true that we lost a bit of our confidence. We don’t take our chances, we have to keep working on that side.

      “When you don’t win games you lose confidence, but on the other side you tell the players to look at the performances and the performance today was positive.

      “We did it last year [turned the form around] and we will do it again.”

      Guehi: Harsh defeat but we will keep going


      Marc Guehi says that Palace’s ‘spirit and togetherness’ shone through in their defeat at Stamford Bridge, despite a positive performance ultimately going unrewarded.

      “We definitely played well and competed with them,” Guehi said after full-time. “It’s always a difficult place to come to. We showed that spirit and togetherness in the game, and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t come away with at least a point in the game.

      “Football is a harsh world. It comes down to the details, to both boxes, and in the end they were just better.

      “We competed well, we definitely stayed in the game. We created a few chances ourselves – at half-time we felt good.”

      Kai Havertz scored shortly after the break to give Chelsea the three points, but Guehi says Palace will learn from their mistakes ahead of the visit of Manchester United on Wednesday.

      “It’s just frustrating to give away a goal, it doesn’t matter how it comes,” he said. “We just have to keep going as a team, keep positive and hopefully we will get some results.

      “Every game you take as it comes, and you learn from every game as it comes. It’s definitely something we will learn from. It could easily have turned in this game.

      “Unfortunately it didn’t, but we just have to keep pushing as a team.”


      90+9 mins

      Chelsea hold on, and the full-time whistle blows.

      It’s three points for the hosts, but Palace threw everything at that one – they just couldn’t find the breakthrough in the dying moments.

      Stay tuned for all the reaction.

      90+7 mins


      Tomkins’ volley is blocked, Clyne’s delivery is cleared and then Edouard can’t covert when the ball falls in the area.

      Is that it?

      90+5 mins

      Palace have a corner, but it's cleared.

      90+4 mins

      Palace need to get the ball back here.

      The finally do through Doucouré, and it’s crossed in by Olise. Zaha picks up on the clearance and enters the penalty area, where he’s tackled.

      Still Palace push forwards.

      90 mins

      Seven added minutes. SEVEN.


      Michael Olise stands over a free-kick on the edge of the area - but his cross heads straight out of play.

      88 mins

      From the corner Mateta heads narrowly over the top. Palace are still very much alive here!

      Double change for Chelsea:

      Off: Ziyech, Havertz.

      On: Kovacic, Azpilicueta.


      85 mins

      What an effort!

      Doucouré strikes flush on the volley from 25-yards out, and it’s bound for the top corner before Kepa’s fingertips keep it out.

      Yellow card

      82 mins

      This one is less controversial. Hughes is late on Gallagher and goes is cautioned.

      80 mins

      Huge chance for Havertz to get his – and Chelsea’s – second, but he can’t make enough contact at the far post with the goal gaping.

      Yellow card

      78 mins

      Patrick Vieira goes into the book after his protestations become too vigorous for Peter Bankes’ liking.

      Doucouré has to be careful too – he’s on a booking and is penalised again.


      76 mins

      A change for Chelsea as Hall is withdrawn to a standing ovation. On comes Kalidou Koulibaly in his place.

      73 mins

      Edouard races in and rounds one defender, but he’s brought down before he can make too much progress – and it’s not given!

      Patrick Vieira and his staff are in uproar on the touchline, but we play on.


      68 mins

      Vieira has reacted to that Chelsea opener, and then some.

      It’s a triple change, as Will Hughes, Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta enter the fray.

      Off come Ayew, Schlupp and Eze.


      Chelsea 1-0 Palace (Havertz)

      63 mins

      Chelsea make the breakthrough, and it’s Kai Havertz with the goal.

      A short corner routine pays off as Gallagher finds space to deliver, and Havertz rises highest at the near post to nod home.


      61 mins

      Graham Potter has seen enough, and makes a change on the hour mark. Off comes Carney Chukwuemeka, on comes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

      55 mins

      Decent opening for Palace. Olise wins it back in midfield and charges goalwards, slipping in Zaha who strikes from a tight angle. It’s powerful but straight at Kepa, who can parry away.

      Yellow card

      51 mins

      Booking for Ebere Eze as he brings down Thiago Silva in midfield


      46 mins

      We're back underway in the second-half - COME ON, PALACE!

      Chalobah is down and receiving treatment straight away.


      45+2 mins

      There goes the half-time whistle, and it remains goalless – but both sides have had their chances.

      Can Patrick Vieira inspire another strong second-half to see Palace claim all three points? Don’t go anywhere, there is still plenty of time left in this one…_

      45+1 mins

      Frantic finish to the half!

      At the other end, a fantastic double stop from Guaita prevents Chelsea from scoring, before he comes out to punch the subsequent corner clear.


      45 mins

      We will have two added minutes, and Palace have won a corner. Come on, one before half-time?

      The answer is very nearly yes, as Jeff Schlupp meets it at the near post and forces Kepa into a smart save.

      41 mins

      Another big chance for Chelsea as a ball across the face from Gallagher falls to Hall at the far post, but he can’t find the bottom corner. The angle was tight, to be fair to him.


      37 mins

      This is a blow. Joachim Andersen is down and receiving lengthy treatment – he will have to come off.

      James Tomkins is stripped and ready to come on in his place.


      31 mins

      Chelsea’s best opportunity of the game as Havertz makes a perfectly timed run in behind and is picked out, but his headed effort is over the bar.

      28 mins

      Conor Gallagher has been a livewire for Chelsea in an otherwise uninspiring first-half performance, and he wins them a free-kick on halfway.

      At the other end a Palace corner is cleared.

      The two managers are patrolling their technical areas, screaming instructions onto the pitch.

      24 mins

      What a save!

      Thiago Silva manages to fire goalwards as he is falling, and it’s heading for the bottom corner but Guaita gets down rapidly to push it away.


      20 mins

      What a goal this would have been!

      The ball sits up for Olise to let fly with his left foot, and he catches it perfectly on the half-volley. Kepa gets across to tip it over the crossbar.

      The resulting corner falls to Eze on the edge of the area, but he fires over the crossbar.

      Palace are getting closer!


      18 mins

      Ohhh, it’s a good save.

      Olise rounds Hall (again) and stands it up at the far post, where Eze rises – but the defender gets there first. The header goes straight up in the air and in comes Mitchell to volley goalwards, but Kepa stands tall and saves from close range.

      Mitchell grapples with Ziyech
      Mitchell grapples with Ziyech

      16 mins

      Chelsea have grown into the game and are keeping the ball with more confidence, but the threat that Palace pose on the break is very real.

      Can they bring Zaha into the game as he runs in behind?

      10 mins

      Here come Palace again through Zaha, who flicks over the defender and forces Kepa to come charging out of his area to head clear.

      8 mins

      Olise takes on Hall and he’s won a corner, but it comes to nothing.

      5 mins

      Better from Palace as Zaha grapples with Jorginho and almost comes away with possession. It’s won back by Olise who releases Ayew, but he can’t set Zaha through in behind.

      The Eagles keep hold of possession though, and Chelsea are having to make do without ball.

      2 mins

      It’s a fast start for the hosts as Conor Gallagher – who else – makes progress down he right and picks out a teammate in the area. It’s forced behind for a corner and only half-cleared, where Lewis Hall can drive low across the face of goal.


      1 min

      Here we go - COME ON PALACE!


      A touching tribute video plays on the big screen, as Hughes, Terry and co. line up alongside two sets of players around the centre circle for a minute of applause.


      Here come the teams, Palace in all white, Chelsea in all blue.

      Two enormous banners paying tribute to Gianluca Vialli are unveiled at either end.


      There will be a tribute to Gianluca Vialli before kick-off, after the former Chelsea and Italy striker passed away at the age of 58.

      Former teammates, including John Terry, Mark Hughes and Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, have gathered at Stamford Bridge and are about to be introduced to the crowd.

      The Chelsea players have also been warming up shirts bearing Vialli’s name and number.


      The warm-ups are over – kick-off is not far away…

      Clyne: We want to improve


      Nathaniel Clyne is anticipating a challenging fixture when Palace visit Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Sunday.

      The experienced right-back, however, who was born in Stockwell and who graduated from the Palace Academy, believes such occasions could be a good indicator of the club’s progress.

      Patrick Vieira’s side currently have more Premier League points, have won more league games, and have conceded fewer goals, than at the same stage of the season last year.

      Noting this, Clyne said: “You could see progress as whether we finish higher than we did last season, or if we have more points than we did last season… even things like conceding less than we did last season, or scoring more – any type of progress is good for the season.

      “We’ve still got a lot of games left in the second half of the season so hopefully we can improve on that, and see where we are at the end.

      “I see things have changed [in recent years]. We’ve based our play around possession football. You can see everyone’s getting lots of touches.

      “It suits our players because we’ve got a lot of quality players who are good on the ball and like to get into half-turn spots and create attacks. It’s a work-in-progress and we’re getting better game by game, really."


      Ebere Eze has been speaking to the media before kick-off.

      “We always want to put in good performances,” he said. “We are working hard to get the points – it hasn’t gone our way but we’re working to put it right.

      “We want to focus on ourselves, be as creative as we can, be solid and hard to break down. Hopefully we can do that today.

      “We’re not looking at them, we want to put in better performances from ourselves. We know what we can do, and that has to be the focus for us.

      Team news


      The lineups are in, and Tyrick Mitchell returns to the Crystal Palace side after suspension, as Patrick Vieira makes three changes to his side.

      Mitchell lines up in defence alongside Joachim Andersen, Marc Guéhi and Nathaniel Clyne, with Cheick Doucouré and Jeffrey Schlupp ahead of them – the latter replaces Will Hughes.

      In attack, Jordan Ayew leads the line with Michael Olise and Wilfried Zaha on either side; Ebere Eze replaces Odsonne Edouard.

      Edouard is available from the bench alongside Jean-Philippe Mateta, while 17-year-old David Ozoh is also among the replacements.

      Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Badiashile, Mukinayi, Jorginho, Silva, Chalobah, Mount, Ziyech, Gallagher, Havertz, Chukwuemeka, Hall.

      Subs: Bettinelli (GK), Kovacic, Aubameyang, Loftus-Cheek, Koulibaly, Fofana, Azpilicueta, Cucurella, Humphreys.

      Palace: Guaita (GK), Clyne, Guéhi, Andersen, Mitchell, Doucouré, Schlupp, Zaha, Eze, Olise, Ayew.

      Subs: Johnstone (GK), Ward, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Mateta, Hughes, Edouard, Richards, Ozoh.


      Team news is just five minutes away...

      Vieira on Chelsea


      Palace go into today's game off the back of disappointing results against Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at the start of the new year.

      Chelsea, meanwhile, have enjoyed similarly troubled fortunes of late, having won just two of their last 11 games in all competitions.

      Vieira expects the form book to have little bearing on events at Stamford Bridge, however, citing the quality that both teams possess – and the need to focus on what Palace can control: their own performance.

      He explained: “The mood has been challenging, of course, because of the results that we’ve had, but I’ve seen a group who have been working well this week and waiting for the game to perform the best that we can.

      “We are looking at the squad that they [Chelsea] have and we’re looking at the quality of the players that they have. We’re looking at the quality of the manager [Graham Potter] that they have.

      Patrick Vieira speaks to the press before trip to stamford bridge

      “At the moment, yes, they may be in a difficult period, because things are going against them, but that doesn’t take away the quality that they have.

      “We, again, have to perform well, and not think at all about the run of games they [Chelsea] are having at the moment.

      “We want to focus on ourselves. We want to improve regarding the last games that we played. We want to be more competitive, and more consistent in our performances, to allow ourselves to win games.”

      Discussing Palace’s form, Vieira expanded: “I think there’s always two ways of seeing it: it’s about the results, and the results have not been as good as what we wanted; and then there’s going into the details, analysing the games and looking at our performances.

      “We’ve had some up and downs, but overall, I think in some of the games, we showed qualities, but again not enough or not consistent enough to win those games.

      “I don’t think you can base your approach for the game based on a couple of games – we have to do our homework about the strength and weakness of the opposition team.

      “The good thing is that we’ve had a week to prepare for the game, and now it’s important for us to go there and to perform with a strong personality, with a quality and togetherness that will help us to get a result.”


      But don't let that recent form get you down! There have been plenty of brilliant days against Chelsea.

      Back-to-back Premier League wins in 2017 were both days to savour, while 2014 and 2015 victories against the Blues ended up proving particularly crucial to Palace’s fortunes those campaigns.

      Ahead of kick-off, join us on a journey through the Premier League archives, as we look back at ‘three of the best’ against Chelsea.

      Past meetings


      Palace’s recent record against Chelsea does not make for positive reading, with the Eagles losing their last 10 Premier League games against their west London rivals.

      The most recent was at Selhurst Park this season, as Conor Gallagher returned to his former club and scored a stunning late winner.

      However, there are some memorable results against Chelsea to call upon, including back-to-back victories in 2017, the first a wild game which saw three goals scored in six first-half minutes.

      Welcome to west London


      How better to spend your Sunday afternoon than by crossing your fingers and following Patrick Vieira's men away at Chelsea?

      It's Palace at the Bridge - but plenty of build-up still to come...