Conor Gallagher's stellar performance led Chelsea to a late 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
Conor Gallagher's brilliance sparked Chelsea's late surge, dealing a blow to Crystal Palace with a 3-1 victory.
In an impressive late push, Chelsea secured a 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace, with Conor Gallagher delivering a standout performance against his former club at Selhurst Park. The hosts, already facing challenges due to injuries to key players Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Marc Guehi, took the lead through a stunning maiden goal from Jefferson Lerma.
Gallagher swiftly responded, equalising just after the delayed start to the second half, scoring his first Premier League goal of the season in the 47th minute. As the relegation-threatened hosts aimed to secure a valuable point, Gallagher struck again in the final moments of normal time, sealing Chelsea's victory just before Enzo Fernandez ensured a top-half finish for the Blues.
Amid uncertainties about the reception Crystal Palace would receive following a 4-1 loss to rivals Brighton, the overall mood, despite pre-match protests, seemed less sour than expected. Roy Hodgson's diminished side displayed resilience, taking the lead with Lerma's remarkable goal.
Former Eagles loanee Gallagher, who had previously scored a winner in this fixture in October 2022, had a chance before halftime, while Chelsea dominated possession. The second half kicked off with a delay due to technical issues, creating a lighthearted atmosphere as Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" played in the stadium.
Gallagher's 47th-minute goal marked a turnaround for Chelsea, leading to a livelier and more disciplined performance in the second half. Despite Palace's chances, including efforts from Mateta and Munoz, Chelsea applied consistent pressure. The dramatic late stages saw Gallagher's second goal in the 90th minute, echoing a familiar reggae refrain from the away end.
As Palace seemed to hold on for a crucial point, Cole Palmer assisted Gallagher, securing Chelsea's lead in added time. Any hopes of a late Eagles comeback were crushed when Fernandez calmly found the top left corner. Raheem Sterling and Palmer played pivotal roles in the closing moments, ensuring Chelsea's triumph.