Patrick Vieira’s Palace were swarmed, harassed and suffocated from the opening moments of Saturday afternoon’s Premier League contest under the West London sunlight.
A wonderful Marcos Alonso free-kick set the afternoon in motion and things only got brighter for the Blues as the game progressed. Thomas Tuchel had the headache of an N’Golo Kante absence, an Hakim Ziyech injury and a squad feeling the strain of 120 minutes in the Super Cup on Wednesday.
Tuchel’s counter-press never wained and continually pinned their visitors back to great reward. His Chelsea team hunt in packs and were clever to not give away cheap fouls when attempting to regain possession, which meant Palace found it impossible to get out and break.
The rhythm of Chelsea was a beat the supporters enjoyed from beginning to end. The calming back three filtering the ball through midfield as Jorginho continues his incredible summer. The Italian being the wise metronome required with his new bleached blonde hair. The usual width provided by wing-backs Alonso and Cesar Azplicueta isolated and stretched the narrow Palace defence continuously.
Mason Mount is beloved by supporters and his performance proved why he has become an essential figure for two coaches at Stamford Bridge. Having a key hand to win the free kick which Alonso scored and then play the precise cross eventually put away by Christian Pulisic before the break.
A thunderbolt from the right boot of Trevoh Chalobah rounded off a dream day on his Premier League debut. The youngster has impressed over pre-season and was given the chance to prove his worth on the right of Tuchel’s back-three and did not put a foot wrong.
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There have been links to Sevilla’s Jules Kounde which could demand a fee of £60m. But with Chalobah’s inclusion, a rethink over a mega move might be needed. Whatever the outcome, it appears a loan move may not be required this season for the Academy graduate.
It was the perfect opening afternoon for Tuchel who knows he needs a fast start to compete with his other title rivals, and Stamford Bridge is buzzing about the prospects for this campaign, and we’ve still got Lukaku to come in next weekend.
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