Gallagher double helps Chelsea to late win at Crystal Palace

Conor Gallagher’s double and Enzo Fernandez’s late third helped Chelsea to a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football.

The weight of anticipation weighed heavily on both sides heading into the game. Could Chelsea find consistency after a fine performance from midweek against Aston Villa? How would under-pressure Crystal Palace fare without three of their best players in Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Marc Guehi?

The Eagles were by far the better in the first half. They outshot Chelsea six to one, and made it count too as Lerma volleyed home a sensational effort to see Crystal Palace ahead on the half-hour.

But Chelsea improved after the break and it was another superb goal inside 90 seconds of the restart that saw them level, this time from former Crystal Palace loanee Gallagher.

The game looked to be meandering towards a draw – but two late goals from Gallagher (90+1) and Fernandez (90+4) saw Chelsea to the three points.

It sees Chelsea into the top 10 above Wolves with 34 points. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, remain five points above the relegation zone.

How Chelsea snatched a late victory

Conor Gallagher celebrates his goal against Palace
Conor Gallagher has scored more goals for Chelsea against Crystal Palace (4) than he has against any other side, while he’s also netted more goals at Selhurst Park (6) than he has at any other venue in the competition

It was Crystal Palace who had the better first half chances. Djordje Petrovic saved from Jordan Ayew and Jean-Philippe Mateta – the latter’s effort coming after a sloppy giveaway from the visitors.

And the hosts made their chances count when Lerma scored a stunner. It was sloppy defending from Chelsea – and some industrious play from Tyrick Mitchell – that saw the ball break for the midfielder. He then hit it superbly on the volley, rifling past Petrovic’s outstretched hand.

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Lerma scores a stunner to give Crystal Palace the lead at Selhurst Park

Chelsea were on the cusp of ending the half with no shots. But, as three minutes of added time was shown, Gallagher dragged an effort wide and off target.

Team news headlines

  • Crystal Palace were without Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise due to injury, but handed Matheus Franca and Adam Wharton their first Premier League starts for the club.
  • Chelsea made one change for their midweek win at Aston Villa. Thiago Silva was back in the XI, but Benoit Badiashile was not fit to make the matchday squad.

And Gallagher thumped Chelsea level 90 seconds after a delayed restart – referee Michael Oliver needing to sort out some malfunctioning technology. One of Malo Gusto’s right-wing crosses was finally met too as Gallagher thundered home the equaliser, roaring in celebration in front of the away fans to his right.

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Conor Gallagher equalised for Chelsea just two minutes into the second half

Although the second half remained a largely quiet affair, there were a few chances for either side. Ben Chilwell over the crossbar, while Nicolas Jackson also nodded wide. At the other end, Petrovic made a superb stop to deny Matheus Franca’s fine effort.

But for all of Crystal Palace’s good work, they were sucker-punched in injury time. It was a neat check back from Cole Palmer for Gallagher, who then swept the ball into the bottom left corner for his second of the evening.

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Conor Gallagher scores his second of the match in stoppage time at Selhurst Park

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville called it ‘devastation for Palace’ on co-commentary, but there was more capitulation to come.

Crystal Palace threw everyone forward in the hope of an equaliser, but they were hit quickly on the break as Chelsea finished with a third. It was a sensational run from Palmer, who unselfishly laid the ball off for Fernandez. He had plenty of time to pick his spot before rifling home.

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Enzo Fernandez scores Chelsea’s third goal of the match to complete the comeback at Selhurst Park

Player ratings

Crystal Palace: Henderson (6), Munoz (6), Andersen (7), Richards (6), Mitchell (7), Lerma (7), Hughes (7), Wharton (7), Franca (6), Ayew (6), Mateta (6).

Subs used: Ahamada (6), Edouard (n/a).

Chelsea: Petrovic (7), Gusto (7), Disasi (6), Silva (7), Chilwell (6), Fernandez (7), Caicedo (6), Gallagher (8), Palmer (7), Madueke (7), Jackson (6).

Subs used: Nkunku (6), Colwill (7), Sterling (6), Gilchrist (n/a).

Player of the match: Conor Gallagher.

‘It was really good from the manager’

Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher speaking to Sky Sports:

“In the second half the gaffer gave us more structure in their half of the pitch to try and create more chances.

“And having the two strikers to make more runs in behind to create more space which I think it did. It was really good from the manager and definitely helped us to play better.”

Opta stats – Chelsea beat Crystal Palace again

  • Chelsea have won each of their last 13 Premier League games against Crystal Palace, the joint longest winning run for a side against a specific opponent in the competition’s history.
  • Crystal Palace have conceded at least once in each of their last 13 Premier League games, since a 2-0 win a Burnley in November, the joint longest ongoing run without a clean sheet in the competition (Nottingham Forest also 13).
  • Connor Gallagher’s opener for Chelsea was his first Premier League goal of the season from what was his 29th attempt on goal – only Tottenham’s Pedro Porro had more shots without scoring (37) than Gallagher in the competition this season before his first goal tonight.

What’s next?

Both Crystal Palace and Chelsea are back on Sky Sports next weekend.

Monday 19th February 6:30pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Crystal Palace return to Monday Night Football on February 19 as they travel to Everton; kick-off 8pm. Chelsea will feature on Saturday Night Football on February 17 as they visit Man City; kick-off 5.30pm.

Saturday 17th February 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

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