Chelsea Edge Past Struggling Palace To Ease Pressure On Potter  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 0

Kai HavertzKai Havertz's second-half header saw Chelsea edge their way to a nervy 1-0 win against Crystal Palace that eased the pressure on the embattled Graham Potter.

Neither side entered the contest with any form to speak of, with the scrutiny on Potter after just one win in eight games, while the visitors had only a single victory in their previous six matches.

A cagey and nervous affair could have perhaps been expected then, but both teams instead played out an entertaining first half in which Vicente Guaita and Kepa Arrizabalaga were called into action on several occasions.

The nerves started to show themselves in a bad-tempered second period, but it was Chelsea who claimed all three points thanks to Havertz's towering header (64), with the Blues now 10th, six points clear of the 12th-placed Eagles.

Havertz header settles nervy, tempestuous encounter

The atmosphere at Stamford Bridge has been understandably muted in recent months amid Chelsea’s troubling form, but the home supporters were in full voice ahead of kick-off as they paid tribute to former player and manager Gianluca Vialli following his death earlier this month.

The sight of Mykhailo Mudryk - whose transfer was announced during the first half - in the executive boxes fired up the fans even further, and contributed to a fast start from the hosts.

But it was Palace who had the first chances of note, with Kepa blocking Tyrick Mitchell’s close-range effort after flapping at a cross, before the Chelsea goalkeeper tipped over Michael Olise’s venomous strike from the edge of the area.

Chelsea then created chances for Havertz and Lewis Hall, but the German headed over while the young left wing-back scuffed his chance of a first senior goal wide.

Jeffrey Schlupp and Hakim Ziyech both also saw shots well saved as the first half ended with a bang, but the second period was a far grittier affair.

Havertz headed in a much-needed goal - just his second for Chelsea in 10 games - before the game descended into a series of yellow cards and clashes between opposition players.

Former Palace loanee Conor Gallagher attracted the ire of the visiting fans for what they saw as several acts of simulation, with a number of his ex-team-mates taking issue with his antics.

Amid the breaks in play, Palace struggled to create the chance they needed to rescue a point, with Kepa’s lunging save to deny Cheick Doucoure from range snuffing out their lingering hopes.

What's next?

Chelsea's next game is a crucial Premier League clash at Liverpool on Saturday - kick-off 12.30pm.

Crystal Palace's next outing is a Premier League fixture at home to Manchester United on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports - kick-off 8pm.

Patrick Vieira's side then return to Selhurst Park for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday, live on Sky Sports - kick-off 5.30pm.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea Kepa, Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Hall (Koulibaly 78), Jorginho (c), Chukwuemeka (Aubameyang 63), Gallagher, Mount, Havertz (Azpilicueta 89), Ziyech (Kovacic 89)
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Cucurella, Humphreys, Loftus-Cheek, Fofana, D.
Booked Jorginho, Gallagher
Goals Havertz 64

Crystal Palace Guaita, Clyne, Andersen (Tomkins 38), Guehi (c), Mitchell, Doucoure, Schlupp (Hughes 69), Olise, Eze (Edouard 69), Ayew (Mateta 69), Zaha
Subs Not Used Johnstone, Ward, Richards, Milivojevic, Ozoh
Booked Doucoure, Clyne, Eze, Vieira, Hughes, Guehi

Attendance 40,075

Referee Peter Bankes

VAR Michael Salisbury