Gallagher's Brace Seals 3-1 Victory over Crystal Palace
|Conor Gallagher of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea FC at Selhurst Park on February 12, 2024 in London, England(Image-Getty)
Chelsea orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, securing a 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace with Conor Gallagher stealing the spotlight with a brace in the second half's stoppage time.
The match kicked off with Palace manager Roy Hodgson making strategic changes, awarding Premier League debuts to Matheus Franca and Adam Wharton. Meanwhile, Chelsea's Mauricio Pochettino opted for two alterations from their previous match, with Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke stepping in for Raheem Sterling and Christopher Nkunku.
Despite Chelsea's dominance in possession, Palace aimed to capitalize on counter-attacks, a strategy that bore fruit when Jefferson Lerma unleashed a breathtaking shot from 25 yards out, putting Palace ahead and marking the club's 1,000th top-flight goal.
In a first half largely controlled by Chelsea, Gallagher's attempt, just before halftime, was the visitor's first shot on target. Pochettino's halftime adjustment, bringing on Nkunku for Madueke, proved decisive as Gallagher netted his first Premier League goal of the season just two minutes into the second half, leveling the score.
Chelsea's momentum surged, evidenced by Cole Palmer's near-miss and Thiago Silva's header cleared off the line. However, Silva's injury setback tempered Chelsea's offensive fervor momentarily.
Palace had their opportunities, notably Franca's powerful shot saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. The final moments witnessed a flurry of action as Chelsea, spurred on by Sterling's astute pass, saw Gallagher slotting home his second goal before Enzo Fernandez's sublime finish sealed the win in stoppage time.
The victory marks Chelsea's first Premier League away win when trailing at halftime since May 2021 and extends their unbeaten streak against Palace to 13 consecutive wins. Additionally, Hodgson's record against Pochettino continues negatively, as he suffers his seventh Premier League defeat against the Chelsea manager.
Gallagher's prolific record against Palace continues, with four Premier League goals against them, while his performance at Selhurst Park showcases his knack for scoring at the venue. Chelsea's win propels them to 10th place, while Palace languish in 15th position after their fourth loss in six games.