Crystal Palace finally got their season underway in style, by claiming the scalp of reigning League champions Chelsea at Selhurst Park.
An own goal and an injury to Victor Moses didn’t make things any easier on Chelsea as the game went on. After going a goal down 11 minutes into the game thanks to Cesar Azpilicueta’s own goal, the Blues did manage to get back on level terms thanks to a goal from Tiemoue Bakayoko.
However, Wilfried Zaha opened his and doubled his club’s account in the new Premier League season about combining with Mamadou Sakho for a superb goal, just before the end of the first half. Despite all their possession and attacking talent, the Blues couldn’t muster up a comeback.
Chelsea went close on a number of occasions in the second half, but couldn’t capitalise on any of their chances. Charly Musonda, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas were all guilty of missing chances. Had it not been for some bad finishing on the other end, the scoreline would have been a far more embarrassing one.
Thibaut Courtois: 7
Could do nothing for the first goal, which took a wicked deflection to get past him. Could have maybe done better for the second, but Zaha should have never been allowed to take a shot at his goal with such ease and from such close range.
Made some good saves to keep the Blues in the game. Was lucky that Patrick van Aanholt left his shooting boots at home. The lack of organisation amongst his defence though, made things even more frustrating.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 5
A terrible day for the otherwise resolute Spaniard. Seemed uncharacteristically tired for most of the match and was caught out of position more than once. Scored Crystal Palace’s first goal of the season, after a Yohan Cabaye shot was deflected off him and straight into the Chelsea goal.
Never seemed to recover after that and was beaten far too easily for Zaha’s winner. Not an encouraging performance, given that they have an important Champions League match coming up in a few days time against AS Roma.
David Luiz: 6
Returned after a three-match suspension and struggled to deal with the pace of Zaha and Andros Townsend. Should’ve done better to close down Sakho’s through ball for Zaha’s goal. Didn’t look like his usual, confident self.
Gary Cahill: 5
Yet another disappointing performance from the Chelsea captain. Seemed really off the pace of the game for the most part. Had a moment of madness in the first half where he found himself flailing on the ground trying to defend Zaha at the far post, which really summed up his evening.
Victor Moses: N/A
Contributed nothing of note. Taken off 40 minutes into the game for Davide Zappacosta, after his hamstring gave way. Will likely miss the AS Roma clash.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Chelsea’s most attacking threat going forward. Sprayed a number of passes around, hit the crossbar and narrowly missed a free kick. Set up the equaliser for Bakayoko with a peach of a ball and should have had more assists to his name on the afternoon.
Created 4 clear cut chances and contributed defensively as well, while also recovering the ball on numerous occasions and put in three solid tackles. Let down by his teammates’ poor finishing. Morata’s presence on the receiving end of his passes would have likely resulted in a different outcome.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 7
Scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea and helped get his side back in the game. But, his influence reduced as the game went on and it looked like he really missed N’Golo Kante alongside him in midfield. Still needs more time to get used to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
Marcos Alonso: 6
Not a very good performance from the Spaniard as he struggled to contain the Palace attack and his lack of pace was once again evident when he came up against Zaha and Townsend. However, he was still one of Chelsea’s better player on the night and tried to contribute going forward a lot.
Not the Brazilian’s best day in a Chelsea shirt, some would even argue that it was his worst. The Brazilian seemed extremely tired and lost possession a bit too easily for Zaha’s winner. Brought off by Conte for Charly Musonda after 65 minutes. Very surprising if he starts against AS Roma in midweek.
Michy Batshuayi: 4
Hade two chances, but made nothing of them. Brought off after 57 minutes for Pedro after failing to have a single shot on target during his time on the pitch. The Belgian seemed isolated, tired, lacking in confidence and eventually left the pitch a frustrated figure.
Lack of service from his teammates didn’t make it any easier. Needs to take charge of the situation. Rare chances like this won’t come often for Batshuayi and it is unlikely that he’ll be starting anytime soon after a performance like this.
Eden Hazard: 5
The Belgian was largely anonymous for most of the game. Had one chance to equalise with a Zappacosta cross, but got to it too late. In hindsight, the Eagles did a great job of keeping him contained and reducing his influence as much as possible. Cut an exhausted figure for most of the game.
Davide Zappacosta: 6
Grew into the game in the second half, and made a number of threatening runs while putting in some good crosses which couldn’t be capitalised. Was partly at fault for the first goal, for not tracking Zaha’s run on his flank properly. Besides that, it was a fine performance from the Italian.
Was brought on for Batshuayi just under the hour mark to try and provide a more mobile, direct attacking threat. Had his chances and made some good runs. Could’ve maybe done better with his shots, but was still better than most of his Chelsea teammates.
Charly Musonda: 5
Should have scored the equaliser, but volleyed it straight into the stand from 5 yards out. Attempted another 25-yard shot that also flew into the stands. He had his chance to impress and failed to take it, and a performance like this just won’t do. Conte will certainly not be impressed, especially after his recent social media antics.