Skip to content
Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace. Premier League.

Stamford BridgeAttendance39,618.

Chelsea 2

  • M Mudryk (13th minute)
  • N Madueke (89th minute pen)

Crystal Palace 1

  • M Olise (46th minute)

Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Noni Madueke strikes late penalty to seal win for Mauricio Pochettino

Report and free highlights as Chelsea rise into the top half of the Premier League table after Noni Madueke wins and scores crucial late penalty against Crystal Palace; Mykhailo Mudryk's opener was cancelled out by Michael Olise on stroke of half-time

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights from the Premier League as Chelsea faced Crystal Palace.

Substitute Noni Madueke struck an 89th-minute penalty to send Chelsea back into the top half of the Premier League table with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

The pressure was mounting on Mauricio Pochettino following a fourth straight away Premier League defeat at Wolves on Christmas Eve, but VAR Chris Kavanagh spotted a foul by Eberechi Eze on Madueke inside the box, allowing the youngster to dispatch a late winner from the spot.

Mykhailo Mudryk's early opener (13) was cancelled out by one-time Chelsea target Michael Olise on the stroke of half-time (45+1), before Nicolas Jackson's strike from Thiago Silva's deflected cross was ruled out by VAR.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gary Cotterill and Ben Grounds give their verdict on Chelsea's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

But Chelsea and Madueke would find a way, as Palace - without a Premier League win in eight games - slumped to a 13th straight defeat in all competitions against their London rivals.

Palace sit in 15th place - three points above the relegation zone - and boss Roy Hodgson said, when asked about the penalty decision: "I'm tempted to say, what's the point? We have to accept there are two referees in the game.

"It happens and people will look at it themselves. But we are taking away the decision of those on the field and giving it to someone sat in front of a TV screen.

"It's not my obvious idea of what a penalty looks like. I'm conditioned to see how penalties are given and not given for many years. I've no real interest in discussing referees and VAR."

Also See:

Noni Madueke celebrates with his team-mates after scoring a late penalty for Chelsea
Image: Noni Madueke celebrates with his team-mates

Player ratings

Chelsea: Petrovic (6), Gusto (8), Disasi (6), Badiashile (6), Colwill (6), Caicedo (6), Gallagher (7), Mudryk (7), Nkunku (7), Maatsen (7), Jackson (6).

Subs: Thiago Silva (7), Madueke (7), Broja (6), Gilchrist (n/a), Lavia (6).

Crystal Palace: Henderson (6), Clyne (6), Andersen (6), Guehi (7), Mitchell (7), Lerma (6), Richards (7), Olise (8), Eze (7), Ayew (7), Mateta (7).

Subs: Matheus Franca (n/a), Schlupp (6).

Player of the match: Malo Gusto.

How Chelsea left it late to pick off Palace again

Mykhailo Mudryk celebrates his opening goal
Image: Mykhailo Mudryk celebrates his opening goal

Chelsea needed this. For so long during the second half, it looked like they had ran out of ideas, and it was Palace who offered the threat of a winner after the excellent Olise underlined just why Chelsea tracked him earlier this year.

Christopher Nkunku showed a glimpse of his potential with his consolation goal at Molineux, and the striker signed for £58m from RB Leipzig underlined his huge promise with his involvement in the opener.

Team news

  • Christopher Nkunku and Ian Maatsen were handed their first Premier League starts for Chelsea while Moises Caicedo returned from illness.
  • Eberechi Eze returned from the start for Crystal Palace in place of Will Hughes - one change from the Brighton draw.

Malo Gusto turned expertly away from Chris Richards in midfield, and a slip from Nathaniel Clyne allowed Nkunku to find the marauding right-back on the opposite flank from a low cutback that was swept home by Mudryk for only his third Premier League goal.

The Ukraine international had made an electric start and would have made it two shortly afterwards but for a smothering block by Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson, closing the angle well after Mudryk had been slipped in by a deft Jackson back heel.

There has been some discontent among Crystal Palace supporters after just one win in their previous 11 matches, but Chelsea's opener did come against the run of play. That said, the hosts ought to have doubled their lead when Nicolas Jackson outmuscled Joachim Andersen to find Nkunku with only Dean Henderson to beat, but Richards recovered to produce a vital last-ditch challenge.

Mykhaylo Mudryk celebrates with Malo Gusto after opening the scoring for Chelsea against Crystal Palace
Image: Mykhailo Mudryk's three Premier League goals for Chelsea have all been scored in London derbies – he also scored against Fulham and Arsenal in October

Chelsea named their youngest ever Premier League starting XI - aged 23 years, 21 days - and they showed their youth by conceding a soft equaliser on the stoke of half time. Djordje Petrovic hadn't been tested but after Jordan Ayew spotted Olise unmarked, the stand-in goalkeeper was beaten by a composed finish at his near post.

It was a sweet moment for Olise, who had been linked with a move to Chelsea last summer before signing a new long-term contract at Palace. Chelsea have now conceded 59 Premier League goals in 2023, their most in a calendar year in the competition and the most league goals they have shipped in a year since 1991 (68).

Palace continued to impose themselves upon the restart with Jean-Philippe Mateta unleashing a low shot from a tight angle at Petrovic's near post only for the Chelsea goalkeeper to tip it behind for a corner. It signalled a double change from Pochettino as debutant Romeo Lavia was summoned for his first minutes since joining from Southampton, alongside Thiago Silva.

Michael Olise celebrates with his team-mates after equalising for Crystal Palace at Chelsea
Image: Michael Olise celebrates with his team-mates after equalising for Crystal Palace at Chelsea

It meant a drastic reshuffle as Nkunku moved wide to the right and if anything the change stunted Chelsea's progress in spite of their increasing possession. They were now looking for moments in transition with Palace defensively so well organised and setting traps.

Madueke was introduced to add to the youthful exuberance - but it was Jackson who would add to his catalogue of glaring misses this term when he raced onto Conor Gallagher's measured pass only to stroke wide.

Nicolas Jackson finds the net only for his effort to be ruled out by VAR for offside
Image: Nicolas Jackson finds the net only for his effort to be ruled out by VAR for offside

The Senegalese forward's story at Stamford Bridge is only just starting, and he thought he had made amends when he met Thiago Silva's cross to beat Henderson, only for VAR to cut short his celebrations. No matter; Chelsea simply went again.

Madueke had looked lively since his introduction and after Eze dangled a leg, Michael Salisbury was instructed by VAR Chris Kavanagh to consult his pitch side monitor and duly pointed to the spot.

Henderson was sent the wrong way and Chelsea had their third home win on the bounce. It was the England Under-21 international's first league goal of the season. Pochettino said on Madueke's impact: "He played free. The difference is he did what we needed in this moment.

Malo Gusto challenges Jordan Ayew
Image: Malo Gusto challenges Jordan Ayew

"He went to play and I liked that he showed that he was upset with me. He was disappointed with me as he hadn't played too much but he showed me that I can trust him.

"They need to show me that I can trust, and the mentality is really important in the Premier League. You need quality, but you need the right mentality and approach in training in order to perform."

McFadden & Whitehead's Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now played out at full-time. It has been a desperately poor 2023 for Chelsea, but Pochettino will hope they are finally on the move.

Pochettino tells team: Think less!

Mauricio Pochettino watches on from the sidelines
Image: Mauricio Pochettino watches on from the sidelines

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino:

"We didn't start well. We were a little bit nervous and struggled to manage the pressure of a game that was really important for us. For a young team, we were thinking too much. I told them to stop thinking so much at half-time. We moved so slow from the beginning but then had the chances to score.

"I wasn't happy we conceded in the last minute of the first half and it had a massive impact. We started to then play a little bit more and I'm so happy because the players from the bench had an impact. It's important for the future.

"We need the players from the bench to be at their best.

Conor Gallagher shows frustration as Chelsea are held
Image: Conor Gallagher shows frustration as Chelsea push forward

"The coaches as you get older, you think you know better! Not for our knowledge but you feel things. There was a lack of communication and control at one point and the players started to feel the pressure at the end of the first half. When you feel that you're going to crash and you feel the frustration as you're not able to help!

"It was nice to receive this energy during the game, and at the end. It's not that we are bad people and we don't want to play with some players. It is just a shame if you don't connect your talent with the right mentality.

"We are not a charity. We are a football club and we need to perform. Sometimes we need to be tough and we need to show the reality when a player isn't ready to perform. If you want to compete for Chelsea, with all respect, it's not like at other clubs. It's about winning trophies and respecting the history of the club."

Hodgson: We deserved at least a point

Michael Olise scored the equaliser for Palace
Image: Michael Olise scored the equaliser for Palace

Crystal Palace have conceded the first goal in 25 Premier League games in 2023, the most of any side. In fact, the last three occasions a team has conceded first in 25+ games in a year have been the Eagles (26 in 2016, 27 in 2017 and 25 this year).

Palace boss Hodgson said: "I thought we played really well and did enough to win the three points. They cut through us once or twice and in the second half I thought there was more action around their penalty area than ours. You have to convert those half opportunities into goals, otherwise you run the risk of getting something up the other end."

On the relegation picture, he added: "I'm not frightened to death of the relegation zone as it doesn't matter to me at this stage of the season. What bothers me is the 38 games. This team, and the way we've played the last four games - Liverpool, Man City, Brighton and Chelsea - decent teams - we've matched them up and it gives me great hope and heart for the future.

"I'm sad as I should be sitting here now with at least one point. That's football. The worst thing is when you're not getting points and you're playing badly. That's the worrying and the frustrating time. This is part and parcel of football. You don't get what you sometimes deserve in football."

Madueke saves Christmas for Chelsea

Noni Madueke converts a penalty to restore Chelsea's lead against Crystal Palace
Image: Noni Madueke converts a penalty to restore Chelsea's lead against Crystal Palace

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds at Stamford Bridge:

"Mauricio Pochettino said this was a game his side simply could not lose. They had to do it the hard way. They've missed too many big chances this season - more than any other Premier League side - and they missed more here. Jackson, again, the fall guy.

"It had looked like being another frustrating outing for Pochettino's side for most of the second half. But the charismatic Argentine looked to his bench, as he so often has, rummaged in his bag, and picked out Madueke. Ask many Chelsea fans and they will tell you he should have started. But he made his point.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mauricio Pochettino hails the importance of mentality after his young Chelsea side beat Crystal Palace late on in the Premier League.

"This turned into a restorative evening for the beleaguered Chelsea manager, who was full of energy on the touchline throughout - collecting a yellow card in stoppage time.

"Here came a welcome dose of VAR intervention and festive cheer just when it seemed things were turning further against them with Madueke providing the crowning glory.

"Chelsea, three home wins on the bounce, are turning a corner. Aren't they?"

How did Nkunku play on his full PL debut?

Christopher Nkunku controls the ball against Crystal Palace
Image: Christopher Nkunku controls the ball against Crystal Palace

There was a fluency about Chelsea in the first half that has rarely been seen in recent weeks. Nkunku on his long-awaited first start was at the heart of things. Fresh from his role in the opening goal, he played a wonderful ball in for Jackson, whose low drive was aimed fractionally wide of Henderson's far post.

The France international might then have had his first Stamford Bridge goal after 25 minutes had he not kicked the turf when clean through on goal, under pressure from defender Chris Richards.

Chelsea were industrious with the ball, racking up 323 passes during the first half and recording 63 per cent possession and - unlike on so many other occasions this campaign - they had created gilt-edged chances to go with it.

Nkunku started in the No 10 position but showed his versatility by drifting to the right when Gallagher was asked to play in a more advanced midfield role. It made him less effective with his natural tendency to drift inside, but what will please Chelsea fans is that he came through his first start unscathed, completing 71 minutes before being withdrawn ahead of the late drama.

Pochettino said on Nkunku's display: "We need to repeat the volume of action much more. We need him to be more involved but it is normal. It was his first 60-70 minutes so it is normal he got tired but he is adapting to the team."

Palace's winless run continues - Opta stats

Nicolas Jackson hangs his head in the Crystal Palace net after missing a gilt-edged chance for Chelsea
Image: Nicolas Jackson hangs his head after missing a chance
  • Crystal Palace are winless in their last eight Premier League matches (D3 L5), their longest run without a win under Roy Hodgson since an eight-game stretch in June and July 2020.
  • Chelsea's winning penalty scored by Noni Madueke was only their third winning Premier League goal via a penalty as late as the 89th minute, along with two 90th minute penalties scored by Mark Stein (February 1994 vs Spurs) and Jorginho (December 2021 vs Leeds).
  • Chelsea manager Maurico Pochettino has now won 10 consecutive Premier League matches against Crystal Palace, while his 12 wins overall against Palace are his most against an opponent. It was his sixth win against Roy Hodgson, only winning as many games against Eddie Howe (also six).

What's next?

  • Chelsea's next game is at Luton on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.

  • The Blues then host Preston in the FA Cup third round on Saturday January 6; kick-off 5.30pm.

    Crystal Palace are next in action on Saturday when Brentford visit Selhurst Park; kick-off 3pm.

    The Eagles then host Everton in the FA Cup third round on Thursday January 4; kick-off 8pm.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Correctly predict six scorelines to win £250,000 for free with Super 6. Entries by 3pm Tuesday.

Around Sky