May 24, 2024

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How Cole Palmer’s penalty against Manchester City earned Chelsea a point in an eight-goal thriller

Chelsea's Brazilian defender Thiago Silva (R) and Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez (L) thank the fans after the match.

Cole Palmer returned to haunt his old team as Chelsea defeated Manchester City 4–4 in the Premier League thanks to a penalty kick he scored in the 95th minute.

Players from both teams will be traveling the world in the near future for the impending international break.

Those who were not picked for their respective nations will have a two-week break from playing in games and can devote their time to practicing on the training field.

We have an epic confrontation to look forward to when we get back to the real stuff in two weeks. Liverpool vs. Manchester City is scheduled to kick off early on Saturday.

Chelsea will play Newcastle United on the road later that day in an attempt to improve on their previous two encouraging performances.

Pep Guardiola discussed Manchester City’s narrow lead atop the Premier League standings heading into the international break in an interview with Sky Sports following the game.

“What’s important is we go into the international break top of the league,” the manager said. “I couldn’t expect that after that Arsenal game when we lost. We are qualified for the Champions League, where we are top of the league.

“Where we came from, wow, that is really, really good. Now they can rest, come back fit and the next games are really, really tough…”

The game was off to a fast start until Anthony Taylor was sent to the sidelines for a prolonged vacation in front of the VAR screen due to some minor fighting between Marc Cucurella and Haaland in the box.

The ball stayed still for three minutes and 37 seconds, or what seemed like an eternity. A bustling game came to a stop. Fans complained in the stands while players stood around looking bored.

In the Premier League, delays of two minutes or more have increased from one in every two games prior to VAR to more than one per game in recent years, making this type of delay practically inevitable.

Does it make sense? Following a protracted delay, Taylor gave Haaland a penalty that could have been easily dismissed because both he and Cucurella had engaged in some shirt-pulling that didn’t seem particularly serious. After a nearly four-minute delay, a decision was made that will undoubtedly cause just as much controversy as a live call would have.

Broja was brought down by Dias in the City box late in stoppage time. Although there was little question this time around, Taylor pointed to the spot right away, the VAR check nevertheless resulted in a needless two-minute delay that sapped the stadium’s excitement just before Palmer’s thrilling equalizing penalty.

Following eight separate two-minute or longer stoppages in Tottenham’s match against Chelsea last week, Ange Postecoglou voiced her displeasure, saying, “When you look at how much standing around we had to do today, I don’t know, maybe people enjoy that kind of thing. I don’t.”

After a match like that, you can always try to enjoy the chaos. In that regard, Kyle Walker’s attempt to win the game in stoppage time with a free kick from about 25 yards out fits right in with the overall theme of the match. It made sense on the training ground, of course; he had been banging them in for the entire week, if not the entire season. But seriously? This week has shown Chelsea’s weakness at set pieces, and even though it was central, City can still maneuver the ball into a position where it can cross to the back post.

Nicolas Jackson exudes confidence, and it was evident during the preseason how much he welcomed comparisons to Chelsea great Didier Drogba. Even though it was the man wearing the No. 9 shirt for City who served as a reminder of the gold standard for strikers, Jackson built upon his positive progress in this area during this intense game. The Ivorian’s legacy at Stamford Bridge was defined by his record of having an impact on the biggest matches.

Almost as impressive as his rapid, precise finish was Jackson’s anticipation to respond first when Ederson parried Conor Gallagher’s fierce long-range shot back into danger. The Senegal international had not been playing at his best up to that point; he was inconsistent with his touch, regularly outmuscled by City’s powerful defenders, and frequently had poor movement.

Haaland was a master in every one of those areas, frightening Chelsea’s defenders with the pace and power of his runs and enhancing City’s threat in transition with deft lay-offs and forward passes to teammates forming a fan base around him.

In the initial weeks of the season, Jackson demonstrated exceptional proficiency in a few of those areas. To genuinely establish himself as Chelsea’s No. 9 moving forward, he must return to that, but finding ways to score in matches like this and the intense matchup with Tottenham Hotspur last time out is a promising start.

A player who plays for Manchester City for fifteen years is sure to acquire a superior understanding of the way the game should be played. Mauricio Pochettino has observed Cole Palmer acting in precisely that manner.

“He’s a player that understands the game,” he told Sky Sports after the match. “In the half positions, he plays very good between the lines. He also gives an option to find the free man.

“We were talking before (the game), he is a playmaker that links all his team-mates.”

It would be difficult to find Chelsea players who had greater influence than Cole Palmer and Palmer Sterling do now. After the draw, Pep Guardiola was naturally questioned about his two former players.

“They are really good players. That’s why they helped us a lot to win what we won,” he said on Sky Sports. “They were a part of that, they’re part of our success. But, at the end, both wanted more and they decided to come here.”

Chelsea has only won one of their seven Premier League games at Stamford Bridge this season, drawing three and losing three, despite their improving record.

After seven home games in a league season, that is their joint-fewest number of victories in club history.

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