Football: Chelsea hammer Crystal Palace 4-0 in second half onslaught

Football: Chelsea hammer Crystal Palace 4-0 in second half onslaught

LONDON (Reuters) – Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at home in the Premier League on Saturday (Ot 3) as Ben Chilwell marked his league debut for the Blues by scoring a goal and creating another for fellow defender Kurt Zouma before Jorginho sealed the win with two penalties.

Palace had stifled Chelsea in a goalless first half but Chilwell punished them for their first defensive error, scoring from close range in the 50th minute after Mamadou Sakho fluffed a clearance and allowed Cesar Azpilicueta to line up a cross.

Chelsea, seeking to settle their stuttering start to the season, doubled their lead in the 66th minute when the visitors failed to clear a corner and Zouma rose above everyone else to meet a cross by Chilwell and send a header past Vicente Guaita.

Jorginho made sure of the win when he converted two penalties in the space of five minutes late in the game.

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard will be as happy with his team’s first clean sheet of the season as the four goals they scored.

Lampard made six changes to the team that salvaged a 3-3 draw after being 3-0 behind at West Bromwich Albion last weekend, four of them at the back as he gave league debuts to left back Chilwell and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Chilwell, who signed from Leicester City in August, had a debut to remember, showing his pace down the wings and firing crosses into the Palace box all afternoon.

“It was a brilliant team performance, and I’m obviously very happy with my personal performance,” Chilwell told BT Sport.

“The gaffer said at half-time we need to be more creative in the final third, and in the second half we showed that.”

Mendy, signed from Rennes of France to replace out-of-form Kepa Arrizabalaga, had a quieter afternoon.

He had to wait 63 minutes before having to make his first save of the game against a Palace side which had seemed intent on thwarting their hosts until they went behind.

Chelsea’s defence, which leaked six goals in their first three league games of the new season, looked stronger with former Paris St Germain centre half Thiago Silva in commanding form alongside Zouma.