Mauricio Pochettino

Madueke’s Late Penalty Seals Chelsea’s Rare Home Victory against Crystal Palace

28 December, 2023

In a dramatic showdown at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea clinched a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace , thanks to a late penalty by substitute Noni Madueke. This win marks only the sixth home league victory for Chelsea in 2023, a year where Stamford Bridge has struggled to maintain its erstwhile reputation as a fortress.

The match’s pivotal moment arrived in the 89th minute when Madueke was fouled inside the area by Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze. Demonstrating composure under pressure, Madueke stepped up and successfully deceived goalkeeper Dean Henderson, scoring the decisive penalty. 

This goal not only secured Chelsea’s victory but also highlighted the team’s resilience in overcoming their inefficiencies in front of the goal. Follow your favourite Premier League team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet.

Chelsea, under the management of Mauricio Pochettino, has been grappling with consistency issues. Pochettino, constrained by a spate of injuries and suspensions, was compelled to field the club’s youngest-ever starting lineup in a Premier League game. Despite these challenges, Chelsea started strong, dominating the first half and taking the lead through Mykhailo Mudryk’s goal in the 13th minute. However, their inability to capitalize on multiple opportunities allowed Crystal Palace to equalize just before halftime through Michael Olise.

The second half saw Chelsea continue to control possession, yet their struggles in front of the goal persisted. Nicolas Jackson notably missed a crucial chance in the 74th minute and had a goal disallowed for offside following a VAR check.

The match’s defining moment was initially overlooked by referee Michael Salisbury, who only awarded the penalty after being advised to review the pitchside monitor by his VAR assistant. This decision ultimately tipped the scales in Chelsea’s favor.

Chelsea’s win, while a relief, underscores their ongoing struggle to regain the formidable home advantage once enjoyed under Jose Mourinho and subsequent managers. As Pochettino and his team navigate through these challenges, this victory could serve as a catalyst for building much-needed momentum and consistency.

For Crystal Palace, it was a case of so near yet so far, as they succumbed to Chelsea’s late resurgence. The match not only showcased the competitive nature of the Premier League but also the crucial role of split-second decisions and technology in determining the outcome of closely contested fixtures. Get the latest updates from the Premier League only on Nextbet Sports.