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Palmer to the rescue! Ice-cold Cole is Chelsea’s new king.

Palmer to the rescue! Ice-cold Cole is Chelsea's new king.

Chelsea secured a miraculous, topsy-turvy 4-3 victory against Manchester United in arguably the game of the season on Thursday, as Cole Palmer added to his growing legend at Stamford Bridge with the first hat-trick of his career.

Conor Gallagher’s fourth-minute strike and Palmer’s 19th-minute penalty put the Blues in control, but Moises Caicedo’s shocking pass allowed Alejandro Garnacho to race in on the Blues’ goal and slot home after the half-hour mark.

Bruno Fernandes completed a flowing team move with a neat header six minutes before the break to level the scores, and Garnacho looked to have completed the comeback win for United in the 67th minute after heading in a stunning Antony assist.

However, the drama was not over as Noni Madueke won his side a penalty which Palmer converted in the 100th minute, and then 82 seconds later the former Manchester City man fired in a deflected winner to end the most dramatic contest.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Djordje Petrovic (6/10):

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Not much he could do for any of United’s goals, but perhaps Chelsea will look to sign a more commanding goalkeeper in the summer.

Malo Gusto (6/10):

Was Chelsea’s best-performing defender as he was solid in the backline and linked up nicely with Palmer in attack. He is once again ensuring that James’ absence is not too keenly felt.

Axel Disasi (5/10):

Made some important tackles and blocks in defence, but shot himself in the foot with some bad touches and positional play. Was taken off 15 minutes from time.

Benoit Badiashile (4/10):

Seems anonymous at times. His positioning was suspect as he and Disasi were cut apart time after time, although the midfield ahead of them doesn’t provide much protection.

Marc Cucurella (5/10):

While he won a couple of battles with Antony and earned his team a penalty, the Spaniard still can look a bit suspect in defence, especially as the Brazilian landed some shots of his own in the second half.


Moises Caicedo (3/10):

Looks a completely different player from the one that could do no wrong at Brighton for nearly 18 months. Inexplicably gave the ball away and seconds later Garnacho made it 2-1, and all night he was errant in possession. A really poor display.

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Enzo Fernandez (5/10):

Was sloppy on the ball on multiple occasions and like Caicedo, is not hitting the heights many expect of him. He actually looked better when the Ecuadorian left the pitch, perhaps highlighting the fact that they struggle playing alongside one another.

Conor Gallagher (6/10):

Typified Chelsea’s start to the game with a goal and an energetic performance, but could only watch on as his team let United back into the contest. His influence faded as the game wore on, too.


Cole Palmer (10/10):

A virtuoso solo display belied his years. Two penalties and a 101st-minute winner turned desolation into delirium at Stamford Bridge. Was by far the best player on the pitch and he is head and shoulders above his team-mates.

Nicolas Jackson (6/10):

Threatened Maguire and Varane with his pace and direct lines in the first half, but didn’t offer enough in the second.

Mykhailo Mudryk (6/10):

Looked relatively sharp on the left wing and played a nicely weighted pass to Cucurella just before the Spaniard won the Blues their first penalty. Was a bit lightweight at times, however.

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Subs & Manager

Raheem Sterling (5/10):

Was energetic but ineffective when he came on.

Carney Chukwuemeka (5/10):

His touch was heavy when introduced into the match, but nearly won it at the death with a deflected strike.

Trevoh Chalobah (6/10):

Made Chelsea’s defence a little more solid when he came on.

Alfie Gilchrist (N/A):

Had very little of the ball when he came on.

Noni Madueke (7/10):

When it looked like all hope was lost, he showed good skill and pace to get away from Dalot and win his team a penalty in the 96th minute.

Mauricio Pochettino (6/10):

Watched his team wilt under pressure and the manager failed to arrest his team’s slide after the break. However, the Madueke substitution worked well and Palmer’s magic spared his blushes.

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