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Player ratings as spectacular Gallagher strike secures comeback win

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Chelsea had substitute Conor Gallagher to thank for their low quality comeback win over Crystal Palace – his first ever goal for the club that he refused to celebrate against a team that did so much for him during an incredibly successful loan last season.

Odsonne Edouard had given Palace an early lead that they deserved on balance, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cancelled that out with a goal on his first Premier League game since returning to English football from Barcelona last month.

Palace were well drilled in their shape, with Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise both disciplined in midfield out of possession but then pouring forward when the Eagles got the ball. Chelsea, meanwhile, had far more of the ball but looked a little unsure of themselves.

Raheem Sterling did go close, however, hitting the outside of the post from a Reece James cross.

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The home crowd were baying for a red card half an hour when Thiago Silva was caught out and swiped the ball away from Jordan Ayew with his hand while sprawled on the floor to stop the Palace man racing through on goal. He was yellow carded but VAR decided not to upgrade it.

The sickener for Palace was Silva’s involvement in the equaliser soon afterwards. The centre-back jumped highest to nod a searching diagonal ball into the path of Aubameyang, who was not far removed from fluffing a glorious earlier chance, to finish first time on the turn.

Chelsea could have gone ahead in unusual circumstances in first half stoppage time with a seldom seen indirect free-kick inside the Palace area after an illegal back-pass. But Mason Mount’s shot rippled the outside of the net, rather than the inside.

The visitors from west London were undeniably on top in the second half, although real clear chances were few and far between as both teams appeared to lack end product.

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On the hour mark, a combination of Cheick Doucoure and Joel Ward blocked really well against Kai Havertz from close range. Meanwhile, Ben Chilwell probably should have done better with an attempt that he blazed over the bar.

Chelsea were nearly made to rue not making that dominance when stand-in goalkeeper Kepa had to be alert to parry from Wilfried Zaha, who had been largely quiet until that moment.

In the end it had to be Gallagher. Fellow substitute Christian Pulisic played a major role in the winning goal, driving in from the left flank, with Gallagher then unleashing a superb curling effort into the far corner in the last of the full 90.

Odsonne Eduoard
Odsonne Edouard scored early / Paul Harding/GettyImages

GK: Vicente Guaita – 5/10 – Looked a little shaky at times but stood little chance with either Chelsea goal.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne – 5/10 – His 400th club appearance sadly ended in the fist half when he was stretchered off in some distress.

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CB: Joel Ward (c) – 6/10 – Not his natural position but filled in admirably again.

CB: Marc Guehi – 6/10 – Played on through the pain in the second half. Did okay against his old club overall.

LB: Tyrick Mitchell – 6/10 – Got away with a few lapses.

CM: Michael Olise – 8/10 – Carried the ball well in a performance that needed to be disciplined to both sides of the game.

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CM: Cheick Doucoure – 7/10 – Held things together in the middle of the pitch and also made a crucial penalty area block in the second half.

CM: Eberechi Eze – 7/10 – Passed well and won the ball back in central areas. His shooting was ambitious and pretty wayward.

RW: Jordan Ayew – 7/10 – A clear threat from the start and registered an assist with a splendid early cross.

ST: Odsonne Edouard – 7/10 – Took the early goal well. Not massively involved overall, but made sure Chelsea had to keep an eye on him.

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LW: Wilfried Zaha – 6/10 – Too quiet in the first half. Popped up with a chance in the second and did improve but not enough impact.

SUB: James Tomkins (43′ for Clyne) – 6/10

SUB: Jeffrey Schlupp (74′ for Eze) – 6/10

SUB: Jean-Philippe Mateta (84′ for Edouard) – N/A

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SUB: Will Hughes (84′ for Doucoure) – N/A

Manager: Patrick Vieira – 7/10 – His team was set up really well, with players perfectly understanding their roles – especially in midfield. Palace were fully in it until a late moment of magic from a player he helped develop.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his second Premier League debut / Paul Harding/GettyImages

GK: Kepa Arrizabaaga – 7/10 – Made what ended up being an important save from Zaha in the second half.

RB: Reece James – 7/10 –
Kept Zaha quiet in the first half and it was telling that the Palace winger later swapped sides.

CB: Thiago Silva – 6/10 – Arguably luck to stay on the pitch for a cynical and overtly deliberate handball. But then assisted the equaliser.

CB: Wesley Fofana – 7/10 – Passed it well and seemed to read play.

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LB: Ben Chilwell – 5/10 – Lacked quality getting forward and Zaha had considerably more joy against him than James.

CM: Jorginho (c) – 4/10 – Didn’t have his usual flawless passing and didn’t win his duels. His afternoon also ended prematurely because of injury.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 5/10 – Sometimes struggled to cope with the quickness in the Palace midfield.

RM: Raheem Sterling – 5/10 – Hit the post in the first half and it seemed like it wasn’t going to be his day. Something was missing.

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AM: Kai Havertz – 5/10 – Not very influential and lacked quality.

LM: Mason Mount – 5/10 – Missed a couple of first half chances.

ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7/10 –
Marked his return to Premier League football with a clinical finish.

SUB: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (56′ for Jorginho) – 6/10

SUB: Armando Broja (75′ for Aubameyang) – 5/10

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SUB: Conor Gallagher (76′ for Havertz) – 7/10

SUB: Christian Pulisic (84′ for Mount) – 7/10

Manager: Graham Potter – 8/10 – Injuries and the international break have limited his chance to work with the players. It wasn’t a game full of quality, but his substitutes made the ultimate difference.

Player of the match: Michael Olise

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EPL

Club director leaves door open to Chelsea transfer in January

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Dynamo Moscow director Dmitry Gafin has admitted young midfielder Arsen Zakharyan could seal his move to Chelsea in January.

The Blues attempted to sign the 19-year-old during the summer transfer window but complexities involved in dealing with a Russian club left them unable to complete a deal for Zakharyan before the window closed.

Since then, sources have informed 90min that Chelsea have not given up on Zakharyan, who comes with a release clause of around £12.6m, and have remained in contact with all relevant authorities in an attempt to conclude a transfer.

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Talks have been held between Chelsea and FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League to try and find a way to work within the current rules regarding dealing with Russian clubs, with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly still very keen to get a deal done.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

In Moscow, club director Gafin has conceded that talks with Chelsea could reignite in January.

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“We cannot rule out the resumption of history with Chelsea in winter, I cannot comment on the information that appears and will appear,” he told TASS.

Gafin was, however, quick to question claims that Zakharyan has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, insisting Dynamo Moscow have not given the club permission to speak with the Russia international just yet.

“Regarding his alleged contract with Chelsea, we don’t know anything about this, we did not give permission for such contacts,” he said. “I think this is from the rumour mill.”



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Antonee Robinson praises career revival of USMNT & Fulham teammate Tim Ream

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United States Men’s National Team full-back Antonee Robinson has heaped praise on his club and international teammate Tim Ream for his late-career renaissance.

At 35 years old, Ream has gone from being on the outside of the USMNT setup, picking up just one cap in 2020, to being a rock at the heart of Gregg Berhalter’s defense in Qatar.

Ream’s revival has been thanks to his incredible form in the Premier League with Fulham, with the veteran center-back coming first among his teammates in a number of key metrics so far, such as interceptions (21), blocks (23), clearances (50), and passes completed (715).

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The man next to him both at club and international level, Robinson, has enjoyed Ream’s career turnaround firsthand and has revealed just how much it means to him.

“The standard that [Ream] has been at, it’s been amazing,” Robinson told ESPN. “He’s such a calming presence on the ball. It’s no shock to me. I’ve played with him for a long-enough time now to know what he’s all about. But to see him actually come out on this stage, when it was at one point looking like he wouldn’t be here, and raise his level even more than he has done already this season, it means a lot to me.”

Ream and the USMNT have a great chance to reach the World Cup knockout stages when they face Iran on Tuesday, with a victory enough to see them finish at least second in Group B. Anything less and they’ll find themselves on the next plane home from Qatar and planning for their 2026 campaign as co-hosts.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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Gareth Southgate explains decision not to start Phil Foden at World Cup

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Gareth Southgate has insisted that Phil Foden will be play a ‘big part’ for England at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Foden is arguably the brightest young talent in the Premier League, having won the PFA Young Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, and has been in fine form for Manchester City during the current campaign – scoring seven goals in 14 league appearances.

Despite this, at international level the 22-year-old has found opportunities slightly harder to come by. Foden was brought on as a sub in England’s opening game win over Iran, before not even making it off the bench in their subsequent 0-0 draw with USMNT.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

This lack of game time has saw Southgate come under some criticism for not using his more creative players, instead opting for the more athletic Mason Mount to start the Three Lions’ first two World Cup games. Speaking to ITV ahead of the final group game against Wales, Southgate has come out to defend his decision making stating:

“We love Phil, he is a super player. He was into the first game, we decided not to put him into the second. But he is going to play an important part in this tournament for us, there is no question about that.

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“We haven’t got any issue with Phil. In September he started both games for us and we put him into the game versus Iran. We decided to stick with that team and we felt the changes required something a little different for the USA.

“But we are intending to be here as long as we can. And he is a super player and we think the world of him. And he is going to play a big part. 

“He can play off either wing. He can play as a false nine. He can play behind a striker, he doesn’t do that as often for his club. He works hard for the team and, of course, he has fabulous technical ability.”



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