Manager Graham Potter claims his new Chelsea side got lucky against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon as Potter walked away from Selhurst Park victorious for the first time as Blues’ boss.
Chelsea got their campaign back on track with the impressive win over Palace after a tumultuous start to the current season. Prior to Saturday’s result, the Blues had only won half their league matches so far, and sat bottom of their UEFA Champions League group, picking up a single point from their opening two fixtures.
Former Crystal Palace loanee Conor Gallagher grabbed the match winner with a stunning curling strike from outside the 18-yard-area, snatching all 3 points for Chelsea in the 90th minute at the expense of the club where he shone last season.
The victory is the first one for new Chelsea boss Graham Potter after his arrival from Brighton last month. However, the English coach was quick to acknowledge that luck played its part in taking all the points back to Stamford Bridge.
Speaking after the game, Potter recognized that veteran defender Thiago Silva could have been sent off for a handball incident which sparked argument as to whether the Brazilian denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity or not.
The decision went in favour of Silva, who was lucky to not see red. Furthermore, Crystal Palace’s misery was compounded when Pierre – Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal in Chelsea colours, with Thiago Silva assisting the Gabonese International.
The chain of events enraged Palace manager Patrick Vieira, who brought out his inner Jose Mourinho by saying “If I spend time talking about it I think I will be in big trouble” in response to questions regarding the incident.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter spoke after the game, saying he understood Patrick Vieira’s grievances.
“I thought it was touch and go,” said Potter (quotes via BBC).
“The fact he was quite far from the goal saved him, and it could’ve gone the other way.
“It’s a close one, I can understand Patrick’s [Vieira] frustration. It’s a 50-50 one.”
Despite the luck, Potter did praise his squad for showing resilience and commitment after coming back from being a goal behind.
“We had to survive moments as they are a good side with dangerous players,” claimed Potter.
“To be a goal down and come away with three points is fantastic so credit to the players.”
Chelsea host Serie A champions AC Milan on Wednesday evening in the hopes of salvaging their European campaign. The Blues will need to take all 3 points in the Group E game if they are to have any chance of progressing through to the Round of 16, especially since they face trips to Milan and Salzburg in 2 of the 3 fixtures following Wednesday’s clash. In the Premier League, Chelsea host Wolves next who may pose a difficult test to the Londoner’s attack, given the defensive prowess of Wolves who always prove to be a tough team to break down.