Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea: 3 Blues lessons learned

Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Bouncing back from two consecutive defeats in which they conceded four goals, Chelsea reclaimed their winning form in the Premier League. Rallying from a goal down at half-time, they overcame Crystal Palace with a 3-1 victory. Conor Gallagher scored twice before Enzo Fernandez finished the scoring. This triumph marked their 13th straight win against their London rivals, tying the Premier League record for the most consecutive wins against a single opponent.

Here are three lessons learned.

1. Half-time substitution turned the game for Chelsea.

The first half showcased the all-too-familiar lackluster performance that fans have come to expect under Mauricio Pochettino. Despite dominating possession with more than 70%, Chelsea struggled to make an impact, firing their first shot only towards the end of the half. Meanwhile, Palace capitalized on their opportunities, landing multiple shots on target before taking the lead. This half underscored the persistent issues with Pochettino's team setup—most notably, a significant gap in Chelsea's midfield, leaving them unable to effectively advance the ball upfield.

Chelsea players frequently misplaced passes and lost possession. Attackers making runs were unsupported by defenders reluctant to deliver long balls over the top. Noni Madueke stood out for his particularly disappointing performance. Given an opportunity to cross mid-match, he opted to pass backward before losing the ball that led directly to Palace's goal. It was no surprise when he was substituted at half-time. Mauricio Pochettino's decision to replicate the setup that succeeded against Aston Villa, expecting similar results against Palace, proved futile.

The introduction of Christopher Nkunku and the repositioning of Cole Palmer to the right flank brought immediate dividends. Conor Gallagher quickly equalized for Chelsea at the start of the second half. Although the winner only came in the 90th minute, Chelsea's improved second-half performance was evident. They posed a constant threat, frequently testing the Palace goal, a stark contrast to their first-half display.

2. Conor Gallagher haunting his former loan club.

Last season, Chelsea clinched victory at Selhurst Park with a dramatic 90th-minute goal from Conor Gallagher, marking a triumphant return to the ground where he had previously played for the home team on loan. The English midfielder once again proved pivotal for the Blues. Gallagher initiated Chelsea's comeback with a goal in the 47th minute before securing the win with an injury-time strike. The winner marked his fourth goal against Crystal Palace, underlining his critical role in Chelsea's successes against the team.

3. The second-half performance will give the team confidence ahead of the upcoming fixtures.

Chelsea's performance on Monday was far from their best, with a notably weak first half. However, the team turned their fortunes around with an inspired performance in the second half. The squad's celebrations reflected a team united in their quest, a unity that will be crucial as they face two of English football's top teams in their upcoming fixtures.

The Blues will travel to Manchester to face the reigning champions, Manchester City, before taking on Liverpool at Wembley for the EFL Cup. Success in these matches could significantly aid Pochettino's side in ending the season on a high note. Moreover, triumph in the EFL Cup would secure European football for next season, highlighting the high stakes of the upcoming fixtures. Fans will be hopeful that Chelsea can draw confidence from their recent victory at Villa Park and their resilient second-half performance against Palace.