Chelsea had no problems. This was a good way to start the season with the European champions, who eased their way to a comfortable victory over Crystal Palace thanks to goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Trevoh Chalobah.
Thomas Tuchel was a satisfied man, even if the German tried to create an illusion of tension by giving Pulisic a furious tongue attack midway through the first half. Chelsea were too good for Palace, so Patrick Vieira had an afternoon to forget, and the scary thought for Tuchel’s rivals is that he has yet to include Romelu Lukaku in the mix after the transfer of the 97 forward, 5 million pounds from the Internazionale.
There is no doubt that Chelsea are going to be even stronger when they have an elite striker at the helm. The same fatigue was not a problem here, even with Kai Havertz falling to the bench and N’Golo Kanté unavailable after last Wednesday’s penalty shootout victory over Villarreal in the Super Cup. Chelsea was too sharp for Palace. They played with faith and authority from the start and their intensity was too much for the visitors.
It quickly became a test for Palace. They came in with a new look, Vieira replacing his predecessor Roy Hodgson’s orthodox 4-4-2 with a more adventurous 4-3-3, but they struggled to compete at any stage. Wilfried Zaha was never in the game and it’s clear Palace will need time to adjust to Vieira’s approach to possession.
Palace’s defenders were never comfortable under pressure on the ball, while their prosaic midfield was no match for Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. It was too easy for Chelsea, with Mason Mount particularly impressive, and the only question was whether they could capitalize on their initial dominance.
At least Palace managed to keep Chelsea at arm’s length for a while, restricting them to the hopeful efforts of Mount and Pulisic. However, the truth is that the breakthrough was inevitable. Mount was a busy presence for Chelsea, always trying and falling into clever positions, and the goal came when Tyrick Mitchell fouled the midfielder in the 26th minute, offering Alonso a chance to double up a peach from a free kick in front of a Vicente Guiata immobile.
It was an impressive goal from Alonso, wedged wonderfully into the upper left corner with his left foot, and it was no more than Chelsea deserved. Their football was delicious throughout and it was not a surprise when they doubled their lead with a slippery goal in the 40th minute. Mount intervened again, pushing his way down the right after a double with César Azpilicueta and sending a low cross into the six-yard box. yards, where Guiata only managed to push the ball away from Timo Werner and straight to Pulisic for an easy shot. .
Chelsea were in full control and although Palace moved briefly at the start of the second half, Zaha forced Antonio Rüdiger to turn him down with a saving challenge, there were no major changes to the pattern of the game. Alonso nearly scored another spectacular goal, forcing Guiata to stop a fierce volley, and there was a moment for home fans to appreciate when Chalobah came out from behind before launching a low shot that outscored Guiata from 25 yards.
It was a lovely moment for Chalobah on his Premier League debut. The 21-year-old academy graduate, who spent last season on loan at Lorient in Ligue 1, has found his way into Tuchel’s thoughts after an impressive preseason and showed his joy by kneeling and kissing the grass.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism