Thursday , September 24 2020

Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Premier League – live! – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


49 min:Chelseaare 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.

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 havegotto love Peter Reid.

HALF TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Crystal Palace

Chelseawalk 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.Chelseago 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.

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 theChelseafull-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.

(min:A bit of possession in the Palace half forChelsea. 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 forChelsea, who are suddenly looking a little ragged. Kovacic earns it for a slide into the back of Townsend.

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

Updated

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 intoChelseaterritory 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 forChelsea.

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, theChelseacaptain taking one for the team. Out comes the yellow.

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.Chelseaare 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 forChelseato 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, butChelseaappear to be in a buoyant mood. Five league wins in a row, who can blame them?

4 min:Some possession in the midfield forChelsea. 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.

Updated

2 min:The corner’s cleared without too much fuss. But what a statement of intent fromChelsea, 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 ofChelseapensioners take to the field as Stamford Bridge remembers. We’ll be off in a minute.

Roy Hodgson speaks ahead of his 300 th 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 theCrystal Palaceteam, and hopefully some points to take home to Selhurst Park. ”

Frank Lampard reflect 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 honor 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.

Updated

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).

Preamble

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 visitorsCrystal Palacewill 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 300 th game as aPremier Leaguemanager. 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. 30 PM GMT.

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