Gallagher Haunts Palace As Chelsea Boss Potter Seals First Win

Chelsea's English midfielder Conor Gallagher (3R) celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on October 1, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Chelsea’s English midfielder Conor Gallagher (3R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on October 1, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Graham Potter earned his first win as Chelsea manager after Conor Gallagher returned to haunt Crystal Palace with the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Potter was taking charge of Chelsea for just the second time since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel in September.

The former Brighton boss had overseen a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League and was seconds away from another frustrating result until England midfielder Gallagher rode to the rescue.

Odsonne Edouard had put Palace ahead early on before former Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised with his first goal for Chelsea late in the first half.

That set the stage for Gallagher to come off the bench and win it for Chelsea deep into stoppage-time, in the process breaking the hearts of the team he played for on loan for the whole of last season.

“It’s a very special moment to come on and get the winner. It was written in the stars. Everyone knows how much I loved it at Palace but I’m just buzzing to get my first goal,” Gallagher said of his maiden strike for Chelsea.

Relieved to get off the mark after a tricky test in south London, Potter said: “We’re delighted with the result. It’s a tough place to come. I thought we started quite well but conceded from the first action into the box.

“Credit to the boys, they recovered well and did not let their heads go down. It was nice to get an equaliser and get back in the game.

“There’s character, that’s for sure. They could’ve felt sorry for themselves after conceding the goal but the players stood up all the way through.

“There was a collective spirit among the players. We are delighted with the three points.”

Edouard met Jordan Ayew’s seventh-minute cross and lifted the ball past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner.

Raheem Sterling was inches away from a quick equaliser when the Chelsea forward pounced on his own rebound and watched his second effort hit the post.

Palace were furious when Ayew looked through on goal, only to be stopped in his tracks by Thiago Silva, with the Chelsea defender escaping with just a booking.

Silva’s presence on the pitch proved vital moments later when Reece James found the Brazilian at the edge of the area and he nodded the pass in the direction of Aubameyang, who spun and fired past Vicente Guaita.

Palace nearly went back in front after half-time when Michael Olise battled his marker before picking out Wilfried Zaha, who could not beat Kepa with a powerful strike.

Gallagher was warmly received by Palace fans when he stepped on the pitch in the 76th minute.

But those friendly sentiments were quickly forgotten when he curled in the decider to spark jubilant celebrations among Potter and his backroom staff.

AFP

Nunez Sees Red But Liverpool Rally To Clinch Draw Against Palace

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez reacts as he leaves the pitch after being sent off by the referee during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, north west England on August 15, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez reacts as he leaves the pitch after being sent off by the referee during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, north west England on August 15, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Liverpool fought back with 10 men to prevent a first Premier League defeat in front of fans at Anfield since 2017 in a 1-1 draw on Monday as Darwin Nunez was sent off on his home debut.

Luis Diaz’s sensational strike salvaged a point for the Reds after Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring for Palace in the first half.

But just two games into the season, Liverpool trail leaders Manchester City by four points with their new 75 million euro (£63 million, $77 million) striker largely to blame.

Nunez had scored in his first two appearances against City in the Community Shield and in rescuing a point as a substitute in a 2-2 draw away at Fulham last weekend.

But the Uruguayan’s headbutt on Joachim Andersen just before the hour mark left his side with an uphill challenge in the match and increasing ground to make up already in the title race.

Jurgen Klopp’s men partly dug themselves out of a hole thanks to Diaz’s brilliant equaliser, but they could live to rue another costly draw come the end of the season.

Klopp had lambasted his side for a slow start that cost them two points at newly-promoted Fulham on the opening weekend of the season.

This time Liverpool came flying out the traps, but failed to turn their early dominance into goals.

James Milner, Nunez and Mohamed Salah were all guilty of failing to hit the target with big chances, while Harvey Elliott’s goalbound shot was blocked by Andersen.

Salah should then have done better when he headed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pinpoint pass tamely into the arms of Vicente Guaita.

Palace had barely been in the opposition’s half for the first half-hour, Patrick Vieira’s gameplan to flood the midfield and play Zaha up front paying off for the opening goal.

Nat Phillips started at the heart of the Liverpool defence in the Premier League for the first time since the final game of the 2020/21 season due to injuries to Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip.

His lack of pace up against Zaha was exposed as Eberechi Eze wriggled free from the Liverpool press to play the perfect ball in behind for the Ivorian to break the offside trap and curl beyond Alisson Becker into the far corner.

Liverpool should still have been level before half-time as Nunez mishit a glorious chance and the ball floated back off the post.

His nightmare home debut was complete on 57 minutes when he lashed out at Andersen with a headbutt that will also see him miss upcoming games against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Liverpool refused to let their proud home unbeaten record either side of the behind-closed-doors era of coronavirus restrictions go.

Diaz led the fightback with a terrific individual run and arrowed finish into the far corner to level on 61 minutes.

The red card did not deter Palace from their plan to sit deep and counter-attack, and it nearly worked.

Zaha should have restored the Eagles’ lead when he hit the post with the goal gaping form Cheick Doucoure’s cross.

Salah had one final chance to complete a remarkable comeback from the 10 men, but his effort from the edge of the area flew inches wide.

AFP

Arsenal See Off Palace In Strong Start To Premier League Season

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Martinelli (centre right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on August 5, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Martinelli (centre right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal in the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on August 5, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

Arsenal ensured there was no repeat of their disastrous start to last season as Mikel Arteta’s men saw off Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday to open the 30th season of the Premier League.

The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at Brentford on the opening night of last year’s season, which triggered their worst start to a league campaign for 67 years.

But they backed up their blistering pre-season form as Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half header and a late Marc Guehi own goal made amends for a 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in April.

READ ALSO: Haaland’s Debut Headlines Opening Weekend Of Premier League Season

That defeat sparked a run of five defeats in the final 10 games of the season to cost Arsenal a place in the Premier League top four for a sixth straight year.

But the board has kept faith with Arteta and backed the Spaniard with over £100 million to spend in the transfer market.

Gabriel Jesus’ arrival to fill the need for a centre-forward has been Arsenal’s marquee signing of the summer and the Brazilian nearly marked his debut in style after just four minutes.

Jesus slalomed through the centre of the Palace defence and when his initial effort was blocked, Martinelli should have done better than slot the rebound wide of the target.

The visitors were utterly dominant in the opening quarter, but it took a set-piece to make the breakthrough.

Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka (C) shotts wide during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on August 5, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)
Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka (C) shotts wide during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on August 5, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

Another debutant Oleksandr Zinchenko nodded a corner back across goal and Martinelli’s header had just enough power to beat Vicente Guaita.

Palace had suffered a far more problematic pre-season with a number of key players left at home during a tour of Australia due to their coronavirus vaccination status.

The Eagles took half an hour to find their feet, but will be disappointed not to have at least taken a point once they got to the tempo of the game.

Arsenal were guilty of causing their own problems in raising the Palace fans from their slumber as a clearance from Aaron Ramsdale was charged down and fortunately for the England goalkeeper rebounded to one of his own defenders.

Ramsdale made amends before the break with a fine stop to deny Odsonne Edouard’s header levelling before the French striker had another effort deflected inches over the bar.

Palace penned Arteta’s men back in the second period, but again failed to take their chances when they came along.

Eberechi Eze was the most guilty as he fired tamely into Ramsdale’s body with just the Arsenal number one to beat.

Arsenal had barely even threatened on the counter-attack in the second half, but got lucky to give themselves breathing space for the final five minutes.

Bukayo Saka’s driven cross caught his England teammate Guehi off guard as the Palace centre-back’s header flew into his own net.

 

AFP

Arsenal’s Champions League Push Suffers Blow As Crystal Palace Hammer Gunners


Crystal Palace’s Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha is mobbed by teammates after scoring the team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on April 4, 2022. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Arsenal’s bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four suffered a significant setback as Crystal Palace swept to an impressive 3-0 win on Monday.

Mikel Arteta’s side were blown away by first-half goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew at Selhurst Park.

Unable to muster a revival after the break, Arsenal’s second defeat in their last three league games was sealed by Wilfried Zaha’s late penalty.

Arsenal had gone into the weekend in fourth place, but Tottenham’s 5-1 win against Newcastle on Sunday piled pressure on the Gunners and their response could not have been any less convincing.

The battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top four finish is heating up and Arsenal are in danger of wilting.

They sit in fifth place, behind Tottenham on goal difference having played a game less than their north London rivals.

West Ham and Manchester United, both three points behind Arsenal, will also fancy their chances after a result that blew the top-four battle wide open.

It was an especially painful result for Arsenal fans given the presence in the Palace dug-out of Eagles boss Patrick Vieira, a Gunners legend after his trophy-filled playing career with the club.

How they could have done with the kind of tenacious performance that was Vieira’s hallmark in midfield during Arsenal’s glory days.

Vieira comfortably out-witted Arteta, who was voted the Premier League’s manager of the month for March after masterminding his side’s climb into contention for a top-four berth.

Those Champions League ambitions don’t look so believable now.

Arsenal in Disarray 


Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (L), Arsenal’s Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (C) and Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka react during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on April 4, 2022.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Palace took the lead in the 16th minute after Ben White needlessly fouled Zaha.

Conor Gallagher swung his free-kick towards the far post, where Joachim Andersen headed it back across for Mateta to nod home from six yards for his sixth goal this term.

If that was a sloppy goal to concede, there was worse to come for Arteta eight minutes later.

Andersen’s long pass should have been easy for the Arsenal rearguard, but Gabriel made a hash of his attempt to intercept, completely missing the ball as Ayew eluded the dozing Nuno Tavares to score with a composed finish from the edge of the area.

The Ghana forward’s second goal this season left Arteta scratching his head in disbelief.

Without Scotland left-back Kieran Tierney due to a knee injury, Arsenal’s defence was in disarray and Zaha swept through to tee up Mateta for a chance that Aaron Ramsdale saved at full stretch.

Arsenal didn’t manage an effort on target into the final seconds of the half and even the Gabriel’s tame header was straight at Vicente Guaita.

Out-fought and out-played in the first half, Arsenal needed an immediate response after the break but Bukayo Saka’s penalty appeal was waved away after he was bundled over by Cheikhou Kouyate.

Although there was more urgency about Arsenal in the second half, they still lacked a cutting edge.

Emile Smith Rowe shot straight at Guaita with the goal at his mercy before Martin Odegaard fired wastefully wide from Saka’s cross.

Arsenal were punished for their profligacy in the 74th minute as Zaha’s raid prompted Odegaard to concede a penalty as he clipped the forward’s ankle.

Zaha dusted himself down and converted the spot-kick with ease, sending Ramsdale the wrong way to leave Arsenal’s top four bid in the balance.

AFP

Crystal Palace Fly Past Everton To Reach FA Cup Semi-Finals


Crystal Palace’s English defender Marc Guehi (R) heads home the opening goal during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park in south London on March 20, 2022. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Crystal Palace stormed into the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in six years with a 4-0 thrashing of struggling Everton on Sunday.

Marc Guehi, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Wilfried Zaha, and Will Hughes got the goals as the Eagles continued their impressive first season under Patrick Vieira.

Everton’s focus now turns to just staying in the Premier League as they sit perilously just above the relegation zone.

Frank Lampard’s men managed just a second league win in 12 games against Newcastle on Thursday and started like they could build on that confidence boost.

Michael Keane wasted a glorious early chance, while Richarlison saw two appeals for a penalty waived away.

READ ALSO: Messi Absent As Monaco Thrash PSG


Everton’s English manager Frank Lampard is seen on the pitch after the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park in south London on March 20, 2022. Palace won the game 4-0. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

However, there was no way back once their frailty from set-pieces was exposed for the opening goal.

Guehi was called into the England squad for the first time this week and celebrated with his fourth goal since joining from Chelsea as he headed in Michael Olise’s corner.

The combination of Olise, Zaha, and Eberechi Eze then began to cut Everton apart, no more so than in a flowing move for the second goal.

Eze’s quick feet freed Zaha down the left and his low cross was swept in by Mateta.

Everton laboured as they tried to get back in the tie with Demarai Gray’s long-range effort that flew wide the closest the came to a response.

But two more goals in the final 11 minutes set the seal on a resounding Palace win.

Zaha was alert after Olise’s shot looped up onto the crossbar to slot home his 10th goal of the season.

And Hughes rounded off the scoring with his first goal since 2019 on the rebound after Jordan Pickford produced a stunning save to deny Connor Gallagher.

Palace join Chelsea in the draw for the last four with Southampton hosting Manchester City and Liverpool travelling to Nottingham Forest in Sunday’s two other quarter-final ties.

AFP

Mane Scores 100th Liverpool Goal In Palace Stroll

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (C) vies with Crystal Palace’s English defender Joel Ward (R) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Sadio Mane scored his 100th Liverpool goal as the Senegal star inspired a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace that sent his side top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Mane’s milestone strike came in his 224th appearance for the Reds, breaking Palace’s rearguard action late in the first half at Anfield.

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Guinea midfielder Naby Keita netted in the second half to move Jurgen Klopp’s team three points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

It was fitting that Mane should make it to his century against Palace as he set a new Premier League record for the most consecutive games a player has scored against one opponent.

It was the ninth successive match that Mane had netted against Palace.

More importantly for Klopp, Mane already has four goals this term, suggesting he is ready to put last season’s disappointing personal campaign behind him.

After Liverpool’s lacklustre, injury-hit defence of the Premier League title, they are back in the groove in the chase to regain the trophy from Manchester City.

Klopp’s men have opened the season with an unbeaten run of four wins from five games, with just one goal conceded and 12 scored.

French defender Ibrahima Konate, signed from Leipzig in the close season, was handed his Liverpool debut as one of six changes from the midweek Champions League win over AC Milan.

Klopp switched his entire back four, with Virgil van Dijk returning, James Milner playing on the right instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas replacing Andy Robertson.

 

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (C) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Mane Stars

Initially, Liverpool seemed unsettled by Klopp’s alterations and Palace nearly took advantage of a defensive blunder that ended with Alisson Becker pushing Wilfried Zaha’s shot onto the post.

Diogo Jota led the Liverpool response as the Portugal forward fired across goal from a tight angle.

Jordan Henderson scored Liverpool’s winner against AC Milan and the England midfielder was close to netting again when his half-volley from Mane’s cross forced Vicente Guaita to make a good stop.

Jota missed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, firing over from three yards after the ball was palmed out to him by Guaita.

But Mane ended Palace’s spirited resistance in the 43rd minute.

Salah’s header from Tsimikas’ corner was saved by Guaita and Mane pounced to slam the rebound past the Palace keeper.

Alisson had to make a fine save from Joel Ward’s drive to preserve Liverpool’s lead at the interval.

Palace were inches away from earning a second-half penalty when Conor Gallagher was tripped right on the edge of the area.

Christian Benteke wasted the free-kick, before Van Dijk headed just over at the other end.

Keita’s shot was repelled by Guaita, who scrambled to his feet to deny Salah’s follow-up attempt.

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah removes his shirt as he celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Salah wouldn’t be denied a goal for long and the Egypt star delivered the knockout blow in the 78th minute.

Van Dijk helped on a Liverpool corner and Salah was perfectly placed to slot home at the far post.

Keita, on as a second-half replacement for Thiago Alcantara, put the seal on Liverpool’s stroll when he volleyed in from the edge of the area in the 89th minute.

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

AFP

Crystal Palace Appoint Vieira As New Manager

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 22, 2020 Nice’s French coach Patrick Vieira is seen prior the UEFA Europa League Group C football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Nice at the BayArena stadium in Leverkusen, western Germany. (Photo by Marius Becker / POOL / AFP)

 

Crystal Palace announced former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira as the club’s new manager on Sunday, following a prolonged search for a successor to Roy Hodgson.

Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a player with the Gunners, has had mixed results in charge of New York City and Nice in his two previous managerial jobs.

The Frenchman, who also won the World Cup and European Championship with his country, is highly regarded in England for his stellar playing career under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

“Crystal Palace Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of Patrick Vieira as its new manager for the next three seasons,” Palace said in a statement.

The Eagles have been searching for a new boss since Hodgson announced in May he would step down at the end of last season when his contract expired.

Vieira has a busy few weeks ahead, with a host of Palace players also out of contract and just six weeks until the Premier League season starts with a trip to European champions Chelsea.

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“I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together,” said Vieira.

“It is a project that is really appealing to me, having spoken a lot with the chairman and sporting director about their ambition and plans for the whole club, including the academy.

“The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.”

In his four seasons in charge, former England boss Hodgson managed to keep Palace out of the relegation battle.

However, there was a desire at the club to freshen up the ageing squad he had assembled with a younger manager.

“I’m delighted and excited that Patrick has agreed to join Crystal Palace as our manager following successfully learning his trade at the City Group, and experiencing positive managerial spells at New York City and then Nice, who he led to the Europa League,” said Palace chairman Steve Parish.

“We have a lot to do to prepare in the coming weeks and I look forward to working closely with Patrick and (sporting director) Dougie (Freedman) in bringing in some new faces to help us all to a successful season.”

AFP

Roy Hodgson To Step Down As Crystal Palace Boss At End Of Season

Crystal Palace’s English manager Roy Hodgson arrives for the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park in south London on May 16, 2021.
John Walton / POOL / AFP

 

Roy Hodgson is to step down as Crystal Palace manager at the end of the  season, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 73-year-old will bring the curtain down on his four-year spell at his boyhood club against one of his former sides, Liverpool, on Sunday.

The former England manager’s contract was due to expire in the close season after another campaign in which he maintained Palace’s Premier League status.

“After more than 45 years of coaching, I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football,” Hodgson said in a statement.

“So our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.

“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace.”

Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been mentioned in the media as a potential replacement for Hodgson at Palace

-AFP

Man City On Brink Of Premier League Title

Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder Ferran Torres (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on May 1, 2021. PHOTO: Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City are on the brink of clinching the Premier League title after a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, while Brighton virtually assured their survival with victory over Leeds on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side moved 13 points clear at the top thanks to second-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres at Selhurst Park.

City will be crowned English champions for the third time in four seasons if second-placed Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

If United avoid defeat, City can seal the title with a victory against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday.

READ ALSO: Maradona Was Left To ‘Fate’ Ahead Of Death – Expert Panel

It is a matter of when, not if, City regain the title they surrendered to Liverpool last season.

They shook off a tepid first half in south London and put Palace to the sword with two goals in the space of 84 seconds.

Aguero, making only his sixth league start in an injury-plagued season, broke the deadlock in the 57th minute when he ran onto Benjamin Mendy’s long pass and slammed a half-volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

It was only Aguero’s fourth goal of what will be his final season with City after the club’s record scorer announced he will leave in the close-season.

City hope Torres will be part of a new generation of stars capable of building on the foundations laid by the likes of Aguero.

The Spanish forward gave a glimpse of his potential when he fired home from the edge of the area after a flowing City attack in the 59th minute.

That was enough to seal an 11th successive away victory in the Premier League, equalling the English top-flight record.

City were languishing in 14th place in late November but a blistering run since then has carried them to the brink of a third title in four seasons.

 

– ‘Put it in the fridge’ –

The treble chasers could also add the Champions League to that haul.

On Tuesday, City will attempt to reach their first ever Champions League final when they defend a 2-1 lead in the semi-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

“We can start to think about it and put it in the fridge. The Premier League is already there, it is in our hands. We need one more victory,” Guardiola said.

“I’m absolutely delighted with that after the Champions League. We could not play with much rhythm. We struggled a little bit but in the second half we deserved it.

“I will check on the Liverpool game. It’s in our hands and now we will give everything to beat PSG.”

At the Amex Stadium, Brighton broke a three-game goal drought when they took the lead through Pascal Gross’s 14th-minute penalty.

Ezgjan Alioski was penalised for bringing down Danny Welbeck and Gross found the bottom corner with the resulting spot-kick.

Graham Potter’s side struck again through Danny Welbeck’s excellent solo effort in the 79th minute to seal a 2-0 win.

Brighton are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone with four games left.

Later on Saturday, Chelsea can cement their hold on fourth place and push Fulham closer to relegation with a win in the west London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Everton, pushing for European qualification, host Aston Villa in Saturday’s final match.

AFP

Havertz, Pulisic Shine As Chelsea Outclass Crystal Palace

Chelsea's US midfielder Christian Pulisic (2R) beats Crystal Palace's Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (2L) to score their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on April 10, 2021. PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (2R) beats Crystal Palace’s Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (2L) to score their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on April 10, 2021. PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea boosted their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four as Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic starred in a 4-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side blew Palace away with a swaggering first half display inspired by Germany forward Havertz.

Chelsea are up to fourth place and sit two points clear of fifth placed Liverpool.

West Ham, also two points behind the Blues, would reclaim fourth if they beat Leicester on Sunday.

Havertz has endured a difficult time since his close-season move from Bayer Leverkusen, but he gave a rare glimpse of his quality with the opening goal in south London.

The 21-year-old turned provider to set up Pulisic for the second goal before Kurt Zouma put Chelsea three up after 30 minutes.

Christian Benteke got one back for Palace in the second half, but Pulisic netted again as Chelsea cruised to their first win in three league games.

Tuchel suffered his first defeat in 15 matches since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard when West Bromwich Albion claimed a 5-2 win at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

That stunning setback was followed by a training ground bust-up between Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger and reserve keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

But Chelsea had eased fears of a late-season collapse with a composed 2-0 win against Porto in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

This was another confident step in Chelsea’s revival under Tuchel, who faces a big week as the Blues take on Porto in the second leg on Tuesday before playing Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

Tuchel recalled Pulisic, Zouma and Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the misfiring Timo Werner among those to miss out.

“On form and on work rate. We used Timo Werner lots and are close to overuse,” Tuchel said of his decision to rest the struggling German forward.

Thanks in large part to Havertz, who started in the central striker’s role Werner has failed to fill, Chelsea tore Palace to shreds in a blistering start.

In the groove

Havertz has arguably fared even worse than Werner in his first season, but in the eighth minute the German showed why the Blues paid £71 million ($97 million) to sign him.

Taking Hudson-Odoi’s pass on the right-hand side of the Palace area, Havertz advanced with intent before stroking a fine finish in the far corner from an acute angle.

It was only his second league goal for Chelsea and his first in any competition since January.

Pulisic is another of Chelsea’s forwards who has slogged through a difficult season marred by injuries.

But the United States winger joined forces with Havertz to double Chelsea’s lead 102 seconds later.

Havertz was the creator with a cutback that Pulisic took in stride before smashing a rising drive past Vicente Guaita from close-range.

Havertz looked in the groove at last and he showed sublime touch to control Mason Mount’s lofted pass, looping it over bewildered Palace defender Gary Cahill for a low strike that forced a superb save from Guaita.

Chelsea hadn’t scored more than two goals in any of their previous 16 matches under Tuchel in all competitions.

Zouma ended that streak in the 30th minute as Mount swung in a free-kick and the French defender rose above Cahill to power his header past Guaita.

Palace’s work rate improved in the second half as Chelsea moved into game-management mode with the points in the bag.

Benteke reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute with a thumping header from Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.

But Chelsea had the last word when Pulisic bundled home James’ deflected cross in the 78th minute.

Everton Blow Late Lead Against Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 5, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Everton’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were dented by Michy Batshuayi’s 86th-minute equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Monday.

The Toffees were made to rue a string of missed chances either side of James Rodriguez’s opener as they only narrowly closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to four points.

Rodriguez’s return from injury for the first time since Everton ended a two-decade wait to beat Liverpool away in the Merseyside derby in February sparked a far more enterprising performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Vicente Guaita was forced into fine saves from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in a dominant first-half display from the home side.

Rodriguez finally broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second-half when he fired home Seamus Coleman’s cut-back for his 100th goal in European football.

Another two fine saves from Guaita denied Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin from doubling Everton’s advantage.

And that proved vital as Everton ultimately dropped points for the seventh time in eight home games.

 

Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin reacts after Palace scored during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 5, 2021. Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Batshuayi had only been on the pitch two minutes when he latched onto Jeffrey Schlupp’s through ball to fire low beyond Robin Olsen.

A draw leaves Everton in eighth, three points adrift of Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham, who can move into fourth with victory at Wolves later on Monday.

Palace remain in 12th, but look safe for another season in the top flight as the Eagles edge 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

AFP

EPL: Arsenal Held By Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace's English defender Joel Ward (L) vies with Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 14, 2021. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP
Crystal Palace’s English defender Joel Ward (L) vies with Arsenal’s English striker Bukayo Saka (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 14, 2021. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

Arsenal’s recent revival ground to a halt as Crystal Palace frustrated the Gunners in a scrappy 0-0 Premier League draw at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta’s side had won their previous four matches in all competitions, but they were fortunate to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

Palace were unable to convert several first half chances and, although Arsenal improved after the interval, they missed a chance to climb into the top half of the Premier League.

Arsenal sit in 11th place, eight points adrift of the Champions League places as they continue to pay the price for their worst start to a season since 1974-75.

Just before Christmas, Arsenal were only four points above the relegation zone, so their current position 12 points away from the bottom three affords Arteta some much-needed breathing space.

But this disjointed display underlined the attacking flaws that have stopped Arsenal’s building on last season’s FA Cup triumph.

Palace have only won one of their past eight matches in all competitions and are one point behind Arsenal in 13th.

Emile Smith-Rowe, Arsenal’s promising young midfielder, started after scoring against Newcastle as a substitute last weekend.

But Kiernan Tierney was absent with muscle tightness and the Gunners missed the Scotland left-back’s busy presence.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has endured a difficult season and, once again, Arsenal’s captain was a diffident figure.

The Gabon forward briefly sparked into life and tested Vicente Guaita with a fierce strike that has parried by the Palace keeper.

But Palace were finding their feet on a wet evening and Granit Xhaka had to make a perfectly timed sliding tackle to stop Wilfried Zaha getting a shot away after the forward slalomed into the penalty area.

Palace broke through the Arsenal defence again when Christian Benteke scooped his shot wastefully over from 10 yards after good work by Tyrick Mitchell.

James Tomkins was inches away from giving Roy Hodgson’s men the lead as the Palace defender got above Rob Holding to glance his header against the bar from Eberechi Eze’s free-kick.

Arsenal were struggling to get out of their own half and Bernd Leno had to make a superb save to repel Benteke’s header from Mitchell’s cross.

Arteta’s half-time team talk seemed like it might have the desired effect and Hector Bellerin drilled just wide from the edge of the area in the opening minute of the second half.

Arsenal threatened again as Bukayo Saka forced Guaita to block at the near post before Alexandre Lacazette blasted into the side-netting after a flowing move.

Arteta sent on Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey, back after a month out with a thigh injury.

But the expected push never came and Palace were able to keep the misfiring Gunners at bay with ease.

 

AFP