Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Mudryk watches Blues seal deserved win

Tom Gott
Havertz headed Chelsea to victory
Havertz headed Chelsea to victory / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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Chelsea picked up a much-needed three points with a comprehensive 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The Blues were on top throughout and could have easily had a few goals, but had to settle for Kai Havertz's second-half header to seal the victory.

Chelsea began with real energy as Carney Chukwuemeka and Lewis Hall both played dangerous balls into the box inside the first few minutes. The early stages were dominated by the Blues although Graham Potter's side found it tough to create space in the box.

The first real scare for either side was created by Palace. Michael Olise weaved his way into the box and his lofted cross led to some unconvincing goalkeeping from Kepa, who redeemed himself with a nice reaction save to deny Tyrick Mitchell.

Soon after, Olise sent a thunderous strike crashing towards Kepa's top corner and the Chelsea stopper did well to get over and tip it wide.

Vicente Guaita was not to be left out and had to make his own excellent save to deny Thiago Silva, who won the ball no fewer than three times from a corner before sending a fizzing volley towards Guaita's bottom corner.

Meanwhile, Chelsea were busy announcing Mykhaylo Mudryk behind the scenes. No biggie, just a €100m signing.

Havertz should have broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark as a glorious cross from Mason Mount found the German's head, but he sent his effort over the bar.

Hall then failed to convert from a narrow angle after Conor Gallagher's cross went fizzing across the box. The youngster's strike came straight back across goal with an unspotted flick from Guaita.

The goalkeeper show continued until the last minute of the first half as Kepa had to react quickly to keep out an excellent Jeffrey Schlupp header, bringing an enthralling first half to a close.

Kepa made the first save of the second half as he punched away a fierce effort from Wilfried Zaha, but Guaita couldn't match it as Havertz buried a header following another brilliant cross from Ziyech just after the hour mark.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got himself through on goal soon after but was stretching to get off a shot which crashed into the onrushing goalkeeper, before Havertz failed to convert another header from a Mason Mount cross.

Palace were scrappy as they gave away too many free-kicks but they nearly grabbed a late equaliser as Cheick Doucoure's strike from range needed an excellent save from Kepa to tip over the bar, with the Chelsea stopper playing a major role in this victory.


Chelsea player ratings (4-3-3)

Benoit Badiashile
A nice debut from Badiashile / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga - 7/10 - A wobble with his first real involvement but soon redeemed himself with some outstanding saves to keep Palace out.

RB: Trevoh Chalobah - 7/10 - The first real example of Potterball as he played as a centre-back, right-back and defensive midfielder. Handled his hybrid role pretty well.

CB: Thiago Silva - 8/10 - Impressive defensively and an absolute force in attack. Caused havoc from corners and free-kicks. Some outstanding defensive blocks.

CB: Benoit Badiashile - 7/10 - A great debut. Looked composed defensively and willing to spray passes around the pitch.

LB: Lewis Hall - 7/10 - Cooked by Olise in the early stages but calmed himself down to make a nice impact at both ends. Yet again, should have scored.

DM: Jorginho - 7/10 - Completed each of his 43 passes in the first half and constantly kept things ticking after the break,

CM: Conor Gallagher - 7/10 - A big, much-needed performance. Played with real energy and regularly pushed Chelsea forward, winning plenty of free-kicks.

CM: Carney Chukwuemeka - 6/10 - Not as involved as he was in his recent cameos off the bench but didn't really do much wrong.

RW: Hakim Ziyech - 8/10 - Chelsea's most dangerous player by a long way. A great bit of skill early on to torch Mitchell and a regular source of creativity. A fantastic assist.

ST: Kai Havertz - 7/10 - Put in a real shift. Should have had a few goals but buried his header when it mattered most.

LW: Mason Mount - 5/10 - Still looks off his game. Could see the work rate but offered very little of actual note.


Substitutes

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (62' for Chukwuemeka) - 6/10 - A few nice moves in his limited spell.

Kalidou Koulibaly (77' for Hall) - 6/10 - Didn't get much time to make an impact.

Mateo Kovacic (88' for Ziyech) - N/A

Cesar Azpilicueta (88' for Havertz) - N/A


Manager

Graham Potter - 7/10 - Got his selection right here and his methods were on show with Chalobah's tactical role. Some pressure off his shoulders.


Crystal Palace player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Cheick Doucoure
Doucoure put himself around / BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

GK: Vicente Guaita - 7/10 - A busy first half. Some fantastic saves to prevent Chelsea from going ahead but could do nothing about the goal.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne - 5/10 - Didn't have a whole lot of fun against Hall. Regularly caught out of position.

CB: Joachim Andersen - 6/10 - A solid first half but limped off shortly before the break.

CB: Marc Guehi - 6/10 - Did well to keep Havertz quiet but wasn't exactly pushed out of his comfort zone. Did all the basics well.

LB: Tyrick Mitchell - 5/10 - Really struggled to keep up with Ziyech and was put in a spin-cycle by the Moroccan as he drove into the box.

DM: Cheick Doucoure - 7/10 - A monster showing in the first half but somewhat spoiled things by declining to compete with Havertz for the opening goal.

DM: Jeffrey Schlupp - 5/10 - Looked a little lazy off the ball, perhaps amplified by Doucoure's massive shift. Struggled on corners against Silva.

RM: Michael Olise - 6/10 - Really dangerous early on and could have scored a spectacular goal. Quieted down a little once Hall grew into the game but still looked a threat.

AM: Jordan Ayew - 6/10 - Put himself around really well in this role. His energy and pressing was a real problem for Chelsea in the first half.

LM: Ebere Eze - 6/10 - Some nice moments but mixed in with some frustrating ones. Divided opinion among fans before being hooked after the opening goal.

ST: Wilfried Zaha - 5/10 - Didn't enjoy this central role. Rarely involved given Palace's willingness to concede possession.


Substitutes

James Tomkins (38' for Andersen) - 5/10 - Didn't look comfortable after coming on, but will be happy to know he's ahead of Chris Richards in the pecking order.

Jean-Philippe Mateta (69' for Ayew) - 5/10 - Couldn't get involved much as Palace lost control in the second half.

Odsonne Edouard (69' for Eze) - 5/10 - Similarly, couldn't get involved.

Will Hughes (69' for Schlupp) - 4/10 - Looked more interested in a fight than anything else.


Manager

Patrick Vieira - 5/10 - Hard to be too critical with the squad at his disposal. Will have been very happy with the first half showing but, once again, couldn't maintain that level.


Player of the match - Thiago Silva (Chelsea)

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