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Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Madueke wins it late for the Blues

Chelsea responded to their Christmas Eve defeat by securing a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Mauricio Pochettino fielded Chelsea’s youngest-ever starting lineup in the Premier League era, and the team displayed increased confidence in their performance upon returning to their home ground. Despite a strong effort from the visiting Eagles, they ultimately fell short, extending their unfavorable streak against Chelsea.

The away supporters believed their team had taken an early lead in the fifth minute when Ebere Eze’s low free-kick hit the side-netting, only realizing moments later that the ball had gone wide of the post.

Surprise starter Ian Maatsen came close to breaking the deadlock after receiving a fine through ball from Mykhailo Mudryk, but Tyrick Mitchell managed to clear the ball off the line just in time.

Shortly afterward, Chelsea took the lead. Malo Gusto continued a run from right to left after some slick interplay with Christopher Nkunku, crossing for Mudryk to finish from close range.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Chelsea’s youngest-ever squad prevailed in the end

The Ukrainian had another opportunity to score his second midway through the first half when Nicolas Jackson cleverly back-heeled the ball to him, but Dean Henderson’s sprawling frame denied him.

Nkunku, released by Jackson, missed the ball completely when attempting to shoot on goal, and Chris Richards took advantage.

In first-half stoppage time, Palace leveled the score. Richards seized upon Benoit Badiashile’s poor clearance, and Jordan Ayew crossed the loose ball for Michael Olise to finish freely at the far post, eluding Levi Colwill and Moises Caicedo.

After the break, Djordje Petrovic made a low save when Jean-Philippe Mateta fired at his near post as Palace increased the pressure.

Chelsea had a golden opportunity to regain the lead when Conor Gallagher played in Jackson, but he mishit his shot, frustrating the Stamford Bridge crowd.

Moments later, Jackson thought he had redeemed himself. Eze deflected Thiago Silva’s cross upward, and Jackson pulled away from Nathaniel Clyne to provide a simple finish past Henderson. However, the Senegalese international was offside, and the goal didn’t stand.

At the other end, Olise was twice denied the chance for a brace in quick succession, first by a flying block from Gusto and then a near-post save from Petrovic.

With second-half stoppage time approaching, Chelsea won a penalty after a VAR check, with Eze deemed to have fouled Noni Madueke. The winger stepped up and sent Henderson the wrong way to secure the points.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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