Chelsea youngster Trevoh Chalobah scored a goal and helped his side keep a clean sheet with a man of the match performance on his debut as Chelsea won 3-0 against Crystal Palace in their first Premier League match of the 2021/22 season at Stamford Bridge.
Fresh from winning the UEFA Super Cup, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel stuck with Chalobah, who spent the last three seasons on loan at Ipswich, Huddersfield Town and FC Lorient, playing him on the right side of a three-man defence after his stellar performance against Villarreal. Chelsea dominated possession against a new look Crystal Palace side in Patrick Viera’s first game in charge of the team. The Eagles struggled badly to keep up with a side of Chelsea’s quality, playing a very deep defensive setup. It took a moment of quality from Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso to open the scoring in the 27th minute. Mason Mount was tripped around 20-odd yards from goal, and Alonso stepped up to send a crisp free-kick beyond a rooted Vincente Guaita in the Crystal Palace goal. It was Alonso’s fourth goal from a direct freekick in his Premier League career. Chelsea continued to dominate the game, and American winger Christian Pulisic doubled their advantage from close range in the 40th minute after Guaita had spilt a low cross from Mason Mount. It was the American’s fifth goal in five appearances against Crystal Palace in a blue shirt.
The second half started on the same note, with Chelsea controlling proceedings all over the pitch. Chelsea’s third goal came from their academy product Trevoh Chalobah who was invited to shoot by the retreating Palace defence after receiving the ball inside their half. The 22-year-old found the net with a fierce low strike from outside the box via the inside of the right post in the 58th minute before dropping on his knees and shedding tears of joy in a rush of emotions. His older brother, Nathaniel, now of Watford, also came through the Chelsea academy and was part of their 2016/17 title-winning side.
Chelsea’s 3-0 win on the opening day was secured without the team really entering into second gear. The win sets a good foundation for the Champions of Europe to proceed this season, with their next match against Arsenal in the league. New Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku was not part of the team due to the need for him to quarantine following his transfer from Inter Milan.