How do you solve a problem like Chelsea? The west London side have dropped from title contenders to a midtable side. Boehly has perhaps succeeded in making the once revered side the joke of the league. Perhaps by hiring the bulk of Brighton staff, it is safe to say the Blues are now Chelsea & Hove Albion.
The club, in recent months, trudged from one poor result to another, with victories a rarity. It has come to the point where little wins have become massive for the two-time Champions League winners. Fans have started questioning the abilities of Graham Potter, with some suggesting the Englishman is out of his depth.
On Sunday afternoon, the west London side narrowly won the London derby against Crystal Palace. It gave Graham Potter some respite and allows him to breathe easier. It was a hard-fought win against a dogged Crystal Palace side determined to get something out of the game. Potter can now relax a little as he looks forward to the future.
On a warm Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, Chelsea paid tribute to their former manager Gianluca Vialli with a hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace. The former Italy international died last week, aged 58, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Past and present players were present to bid the ex-Chelsea player and manager farewell.
It was an emotional farewell, but it did not detract from the importance of the match to Chelsea. The Blues were determined to make it a memorable occasion for the former Chelsea hero. Following a string of bad results, Chelsea was at the throat of the Eagles and eventually got the deserved win.
Kai Havertz powered home a second-half header. The goal was enough to give Chelsea three points. It was a dogged performance by the Blues. Led by Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace was eager to piss on their parade but met a side determined to right the wrongs of the past. The victory brings Chelsea’s total to two in their last ten games.
Potter did not play down the importance of the win. The former Brighton manager acknowledged its significance after a lengthy period of struggles. Potter believes his side deserved the win following the determined and resilient performance of his wards. Chelsea is still tenth on the Premier League log and ten points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
Chelsea have been on a rash of player signings. The west London side has spent over €400 million this season on player transfers and loans. It begs the question of whether the UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) is still effective. Chelsea signed more than 11 players this term, including players that returned from their loan deals, like Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja.
Chelsea, on the day, completed the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who was present at half-time.
Following the win over the Eagles, Potter applauded the fans. He admitted they were fantastic and recognised the moment the team was. He also praised the younger players, saying they understood the importance of the game and stood with the older members.