Chelsea tops Crystal Palace to put difficult week in rear-view mirror

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LONDON — Chelsea eased the unit connected manager Graham Potter by securing conscionable a 2nd Premier League triumph since October with a 1-0 triumph implicit Crystal Palace astatine Stamford Bridge connected Sunday.

Kai Havertz headed successful the winning extremity successful the 64th infinitesimal successful beforehand of Chelsea’s latest signing, Ukraine winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who was paraded connected the tract astatine halftime.

It was a poignant time successful westbound London arsenic Chelsea paid tribute to erstwhile striker Gianluca Vialli, who died this period astatine the property of 58, earlier the lucifer with a big of the Italian’s erstwhile teammates returning to wage their respects.

It contributed to a feeling of togetherness betwixt players and supporters astatine Stamford Bridge arsenic the squad enactment a dreadful past 7 days — which culminated successful a reddish paper for caller signing Joao Felix successful a decision astatine Fulham connected Thursday — down them.

It was lone a 2nd triumph successful the past 10 games successful the league to instrumentality immoderate of the vigor disconnected Potter, with 10th-place Chelsea moving level connected points with Liverpool successful ninth.

Palace had the archetypal existent accidental of the crippled aft 20 minutes, erstwhile Michael Olise allowed the shot to driblet implicit his enarthrosis and drilled an effort toward Kepa Arrizabalaga’s apical country from 25 yards (meters). The Chelsea goalkeeper did brilliantly to finger-tip down astatine afloat stretch.

But it was the hosts who had the champion accidental of the archetypal fractional successful the 33rd infinitesimal erstwhile Havertz roseate unmarked to conscionable Hakim Ziyech’s whipped cross, with the guardant lone capable to onshore his header onto the extortion of the net.


Chelsea's Kai Havertz celebrates aft scoring his side's opening extremity during the English Premier League shot lucifer betwixt Chelsea and Crystal Palace astatine Stamford Bridge Stadium successful London, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/David Cliff)AP

Just earlier halftime, Conor Gallagher broke distant down Palace’s close and fired a debased shot crossed extremity that Lewis Hall was incapable to person with a first-time effort astatine the backmost post. Ziyech past saw a fierce thrust from the borderline of the country tipped implicit by Vicente Guaita arsenic Chelsea finished the fractional strongly.

The hosts’ assurance grew successful the 2nd fractional and Havertz again went adjacent erstwhile helium latched onto Gallagher’s through-ball down the left, but his debased thrust was saved.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent connected by Potter connected the hr having recovered from a backmost wounded — the archetypal of the manager’s agelong database of absentees to marque a instrumentality — and Chelsea soon had the lead.

Ziyech collected the shot adjacent the near touchline and, arsenic his whipped transverse evaded Palace’s defense, determination was Havertz climbing highest to works his header past Guaita.


Chelsea's Thiago Silva gestures astatine the extremity of the English Premier League shot lucifer betwixt Chelsea and Crystal Palace astatine Stamford Bridge Stadium successful London, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/David Cliff)AP

Havertz should person enactment the crippled beyond Palace erstwhile helium darted down the defence to conscionable Mason Mount’s driven cross, but this clip his absorption was lacking arsenic a fantastic accidental to seal the triumph went begging.

And Chelsea was astir made to wage minutes aboriginal erstwhile Cheick Doucoure unleashed a fierce thrust from 30 meters that required a good halt from Arrizabalaga to sphere his team’s lead.

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