Chelsea Earn Scrappy 1-0 Win over Palace to Ease Pressure on Manager

By: Gyang Dakwo

A second-half goal from Kai Havertz earned nervy Chelsea their first Premier League win of 2023 on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over lively Crystal Palace, easing the pressure on manager Graham Potter after a poor run of form.

The German striker nodded in a cross from Hakim Ziyech in the 65th minute following a short corner. It was only the second league win in 10 matches for the home side who remain in an unaccustomed 10th place halfway through the season.

“The last few weeks were tough,” Havertz told the BBC. “A lot of things changed this year. We have so many injuries, 10-12 injured players. Today we had five young players in the starting 11, they are doing a really good job at the moment.”

Chelsea is missing influential players such as England forward Raheem Sterling and wingers Reece James and Ben Chilwell as well as France midfielder N’Golo Kante through injury.

Stopgap Portuguese loan winger Joao Felix was also absent after being banned for three matches following a red card in his first game for the club against Fulham last Thursday.

“Today we are happy for the three points,” said Potter, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September.

“Today was about getting the victory – park it as three valuable points against a team that was pushing as well.”

Palace is in 12th place, six points behind Chelsea