An off day for Roy Hodgson's Palace against a juggernaut of a side in Chelsea. But what did we learn from the defeat?

Striker crisis

Palace looked toothless at the Bridge. Playing with Zaha and Townsend up front the team had no focal point. With Hodgson seemingly unconvinced with Alexander Sorloth leading the line and Christian Benteke side-lined for some time, Palace will surely be looking to the transfer window to bring in an out-and-out striker.

Off day at the back

Palace’s usually organised back four had an off day. They will look at all three goals and think they could’ve done better for each one. The partnership of James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho has grown in to a very stable and reliable unit at the heart of the defence, but at Chelsea they looked out of sync.

Max Meyer

The German came with huge expectation in the summer but as yet we’ve not seen the playmaker at his peak. Given a starting role on the left wing he failed to impose himself on the game and for far too long periods was missing. He will get more chances to show what he can do and will come up against lesser opposition so it may be unfair to judge him on this performance alone.


At 3-1 down Palace turned to Jordan Ayew to get them back in the game. If Hodgson is relying on a man who got seven league goals at Swansea last season it doesn’t fill you with confidence. Looking at the other options on the bench is further evidence Palace need strengthening. Jason Puncheon aside, it was hard to see anyone on the bench who could've had any effect on this game.

Hazard to the rescue

In truth Chelsea didn’t need to get out of first gear in this game, but when Place equalised Chelsea head honcho Maurizio Sarri sent the Belgian on and the was a sense of a formality that they’d go on to win. Within a minute of his introduction he provided an assist for Morata to restore the lead. After that Palace looked resigned to defeat. There is something incredibly special about Hazard, you could feel the energy – and expectancy, when he’s preparing to come on, there aren’t many players in this league that do that.