Chelsea's Premier League recap
Chelsea fell to the most surprising and embarrassing defeat of the Premier League season as they were beaten by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The reigning champions were without Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante, but that was not an excuse to lose to a side that, before the game, were yet to score or pick up any points this season.
Palace’s pressure told early on as Cesar Azpilicueta diverted into his own net, but Tiemoue Bakayoko equalised for the visitors. The returning Wilfried Zaha then scored what proved to be the winner as Roy Hodgson and the fans were finally given something to celebrate. For Chelsea, the defeat was about as low as it gets.
While the Blues were being beaten, what was goionone in the rest of the Premier League?
The biggest and most frightening performance of the weekend came from Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side outclassed Stoke City in a 7-2 demolition as they extended their lead at the top of the table. For City to hammer Stoke, who are usually defensively sound, it was clear that this was a warning to the rest of the league. Burnley played out a 1-1 draw with West Ham at Turf Moor with the visitors pleased with a point after Andy Carroll was sent off in the first half, while Swansea City returned from the international break with a win as they eased past newly promoted Huddersfield 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium.
Tottenham were able to break their Wembley hoodoo with a 1-0 win over struggling Bournemouth who sit in 19th after the game, while Everton were indebted to a late Wayne Rooney penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw with Brighton on Sunday. Pressure continues to mount on Ronald Koeman despite the point earned, with the Toffees massively underachieving this campaign. In the other Sunday game, Newcastle led twice but were pegged back by a double from Manolo Gabbiadini in an exciting 2-2 draw at St Mary’s.
Manchester United and Liverpool played out an incredibly drab 0-0 draw at Anfield, with the away side nullifying all attacking play from both themselves and their opponents in what was a superb defensive display. Finally, Arsenal succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Watford with a contentious penalty getting Watford back into the game. Richarlison seemed to go down under little pressure to win the spot-kick, which Troy Deeney scored, before Tom Cleverley smashed home to pile the misery on Arsene Wenger.
While Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool all failed to take advantage of Chelsea’s loss, Tottenham and Manchester City both won which now leaves the Blues nine points short of City at the top. While there are 30 league games still to play, Chelsea know that if they lose any more ground on Pep Guardiola’s side then it could be the end of their title defence very early on.
Chelsea’s next game sees them host Watford and they cannot afford to lose this one. Antonio Conte will already be feeling the pressure following two straight defeats, meaning he will need his players to put in a big performance in their next Premier League game.