Five talking points as Chelsea thrash Crystal Palace

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Ben Chilwell smashed a superb debut goal for Chelsea to start paying off his £50million transfer fee.

On his 100th Premier League appearance, the England left-back rammed in a 50th-minute back post opener to hand Frank Lampard his second top-flight win of the season.

Kurt Zouma headed a 66th-minute second to leave Lampard all smiles after a stuttering start to the campaign.

Chilwell, who set up the second, impressed along with Chelsea ’s other new signings, keeper Edouard Mendy and centre-back Thiago Silva.

Jorginho added a 77th-minute third from the spot after Tammy Abraham was upended by Tyrick Mitchell. Five minutes later Jorginho netted another penalty after Mahmadou Sakho bundled Havertz over.

The best chance for Roy Hodgson’s men came in the 63rd minute when Jordan Ayew’s diagonal effort forced a smart save from Mendy.

Here are five talking points from Stamford Bridge…

1. Chelsea have lift-off

Chelsea finally look like the side many believed they would be when Frank Lampard flexed the Roman Abramovich credit card during the summer. There were just three starters from the team that lined up for last season’s FA Cup Final.

But after just one unconvincing win from their first three Premier League wins of the season, this was the statement win to set out their stall for the remainder of the campaign.

There is still business to be done before Monday’s deadline but they should be outgoings. This recalibrated Chelsea squad looks ready to rumble.

Ben Chilwell celebrates his goal

2. Chilwell shines in new-look defence

Today’s was the 21st different defensive line-up selected by the Blues boss in 42 Premier League games.

But Thiago Silva looked far more focused after his nightmare at West Brom while Ben Chilwell was the man of the match.

Making his Premier League debut after some early season fitness issues, England’s ex-Leicester man performed as though he’d been playing for Chelsea for quite some time. 

His goal – on his 100th Premier League game – was superbly taken and a great start to repaying his £50million transfer fee. To follow up with an assist rounded off a perfect first day at the office.

Chelsea have been incredibly active in the summer transfer window, so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up to the brilliant Mirror Football newsletter!

Frank Lampard’s team have made wavs by signing Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva.

And they don’t seem keen on slowing down yet. one player who continues to be linked with the Blues is West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice.

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3. Hudson-Odoi’s future

Was including the England winger a show of faith or a negotiating tactic? Bayern Munich want to take him on loan but after this summer’s transfer business Chelsea want to offload players and are understood to want an expensive permanent deal.

It would be easy to understand Hudson-Odoi’s frustration at that given the Blues desperation to tie him to a lucrative new deal when Bayern came sniffing last year. But then Chelsea do like to tie their players up contractually in order to drive their transfer values up.

Ask Antonio Rudiger. Hudson-Odoi a hand in the opening goal and Abraham should have scored from the 75th-minute cross he provided. The team that gets him will have a player determined to prove a point this season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi could still leave Chelsea

4. What next for Zaha?

The next 48 hours will be crucial in determining which Wilfried Zaha we see for the rest of the season. Crystal Palace ’s Ivory Coast winger was bright and lively in this game.

He’d gone into it looking to score his fourth goal of the season – which would have equalled the tally he managed for the whole of last season.

Chelsea, however, allowed him the joint-fewest touches in the first half with just eight. Needed a better day but then Palace’s safety-first tactics – starving him of any supply – are perhaps the reason he wants to get away.

Wilfried Zaha had a quiet afternoon

5. Safe hands Mendy

Suddenly we are not talking about Chelsea’s goalkeeping issues any more. Suddenly they are not as there for the taking as they were for much of last season and the start of this. With Mendy in goal the back door is once again secure with the 6ft 6in former Rennes man able to transmit his confidence to the back four.

He didn’t have much to do with unambitious Palace testing him seriously just once through Jordan Ayew’s second half shot.

Kepa – on his birthday – watched from the stands again and should bring a book next time as he is likely to be there for some time.



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