Conor Gallagher returns to haunt Crystal Palace faithful with stunning winner for Chelsea

Conor Gallagher - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS
Conor Gallagher - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS
  • Odsonne Edouard gives Crystal Palace early lead

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalises, his first goal for Chelsea

  • Conor Gallagher comes off the bench and seals win with 25-yard screamer

The Crystal Palace supporters who gave Conor Gallagher a hero’s welcome back to Selhurst Park might just be regretting it, but the midfielder could not have picked a better time to score his first Chelsea goal.

With his new manager desperately hoping to start with a win in his first Premier League game in charge, Gallagher produced a goal he will struggle to better.

Gallagher was clapped by the Palace fans before the match and when he was sent on as a late substitute by head coach Graham Potter. But there was a deathly silence in the home stands, when the 22-year-old curled in a spectacular 90th-minute winner.

The Palace supporters and manager Patrick Vieira had seen similar moments of brilliance from Gallagher during his season on loan at Selhurst Park, but this was his first big moment in a Chelsea shirt.

Gallagher’s decision to stay and fight for his Chelsea place had looked questionable when he was sent-off against Leicester City, having previously been dragged off in a defeat to Leeds United. But the 22-year-old has wasted no time in making a positive impression on Potter.

“As soon as it left my foot I thought it had a chance,” said Gallagher. “It’s massive to get that confidence back up a little bit and when I am on the pitch, I hope to be as effective as I can.”

There was also a first Chelsea goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it was Gallagher who stole the show and it must have taken every bit of restraint he could summon not to celebrate such a brilliant strike.

“I’m delighted for Conor and the team,” said Potter. “It was a fantastic strike. He has a lot of respect for Crystal Palace as you can see from his reaction.”

Conor Gallagher after scoring Chelsea's winner - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS
Conor Gallagher after scoring Chelsea's winner - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS

Potter might say he has not changed too much since becoming Chelsea head coach, but, on this evidence, his players are having to get used to doing things differently after being accustomed, under Thomas Tuchel, to a safety-first approach that covered up some of the bigger deficiencies within the squad.

Thiago Silva’s 38-year-old legs can understandably struggle to cope with playing in a central defensive pair. When the Brazilian was caught on the ball by Jordan Ayew in the first-half, he did not have a third centre-back to offer protection so resorted to using his hands and was lucky not to get sent-off.

Thiago Silva receives a yellow card for handling the ball - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS
Thiago Silva receives a yellow card for handling the ball - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - REUTERS

Chairman Steve Parish was just as sore as Palace manager Patrick Vieira, who was booked for dissent, over the decision. While Vieira vented his frustration at referee Chris Kavanagh and fourth official Craig Pawson, Parish posted a message on Twitter that said: “Honestly what is the point of #var. We chop and change every week, what it does, what it thinks. Must surely think that’s a red but not a ‘clear’ error! Even if it’s not a #dogso [denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity]which it is. He handballs it twice deliberately, one we play on, so two yellows!”

Vieira was more reserved after the game, saying: “It’s something I don’t want to talk about. I believe the referee got it wrong, but I will get in trouble if I talk about it.”

Potter was honest enough to admit the decision could easily have gone against Silva, saying: “The fact he was quite far from the goal saved him and it could’ve gone the other way. It’s a close one, I can understand Patrick’s [Vieira] frustration. It’s a 50-50 one.”

Five minutes after getting away with a booking, Silva assisted with his head for Aubameyang to score his first Chelsea goal with a shot on the turn, so it was not all bad for the veteran but one suspects he did not particularly enjoy his afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - AFP
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores - Conor Gallagher marks return to Crystal Palace with last-gasp winner for Chelsea - AFP

The fact Silva was in a left wing position when he won the header from which Aubameyang scored perhaps summed up the slightly chaotic nature of Chelsea after just three weeks with Potter at the helm.

Just as Silva was not very comfortable, neither was Jorginho, who was substituted after 56 miserable minutes.

Ben Chilwell completed his first full 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, but playing as a traditional left-back is clearly not as natural to him as raiding forwards as a wing-back.

One player who cannot claim to need time to get the old Tuchel way out of his system is summer signing Wesley Fofana, who was at fault for Odsonne Edouard’s opening goal, first losing the ball and then failing to deal with Ayew’s cross.

None of that is to say that Potter got anything wrong with his first team selection or formation, but he asked different questions of his players and most of the answers were, for now at least, inconclusive.

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea, as it happened:

05:30 PM

That's all from the clockwatch blog for this afternoon

Thanks for joining us. Match reports from all of this afternoon's fixtures can be read here.

Ellen McLaughlin has live coverage of West Ham vs Wolves, which is just about to kick off (5:30pm).

05:11 PM

Full-time scores across the Premier League

  • Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1 (lunchtime)

  • Bournemouth 0 Brentford 0

  • Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 2

  • Fulham 1 Newcastle 4

  • Liverpool 3 Brighton 3

  • Southampton 1 Everton 2

05:00 PM

Full time: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 2

Graham Potter gets three points in his first game in charge of the club courtesy of the man who played so well  while on loan for Crystal Palace last season, Conor Gallagher.

A thunderous game at Selhurst Park and Potter will be delighted to take three points back to west London.

Conor Gallagher - Pantomime villain Conor Gallagher gives Graham Potter first Chelsea win - AFP
Conor Gallagher - Pantomime villain Conor Gallagher gives Graham Potter first Chelsea win - AFP

04:55 PM

90 mins: GOAL Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 2

Pulisic into the area, left-hand side, onto Gallagher, onto his right foot.

Gallagher bends it round the keeper from 25 yards out. An exquisite finish, perfectly executed.

He doesn't celebrate against the club he played for last season.

04:52 PM

Reece James battling with Marc Guehi

Reece James - REUTERS
Reece James - REUTERS

04:51 PM

GOAL Fulham 1 Newcastle 4

A consolation for Fulham – Bobby De Cordova-Reid with a header from close range.

04:50 PM

83 mins: one sub for Chelsea

Pulisic comes on for Mount.

04:48 PM

83 mins: subs for Palace

On: Jean-Philippe Mateta, Will Hughes.

Off: Edouard, Doucoure.

04:47 PM

82 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Zaha is getting more and more of the ball, Silva doing well on his most recent attack, doing just enough to get the ball away for a corner.

04:46 PM

81 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Zaha skins Chilwell and pulls the ball across the face of goal, but it's turned away by Fofana. It comes to Olise, who is challenged, but the ref says no foul. Palace keep coming, looking for the win at Selhurst Park.

04:42 PM

GOAL Liverpool 3 Brighton 3

Trossard gets his hat-trick!

04:40 PM

Graham Potter

Graham Potter - CameraSport
Graham Potter - CameraSport

04:39 PM

73 mins: Chelsea double sub

Off: Aubameyang and Havertz.

On: Broja and Gallagher.

04:38 PM

73 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Mason Mount spins and hits one, but it's a good three or four yards wide.

04:37 PM

72 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Zaha plays the ball into Eze, but it's a little overhit by Zaha and Kepa wins out.

Eze comes off for Schlupp

04:35 PM

71 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Zaha with a driven shot, spilt by Kepa, but he's bailed out by James who scoops the ball away.

Ayew fed his team-mate the ball, after a strong diagonal run across the field.

04:34 PM

69 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Sterling pulls it across in the area, Mitchell needlessly giving the ball away to the Chelsea forward.

Tomkins puts a great block in to let his team-mate off the hook. Palace are starting to look a bit tired out there trying to contain Chelsea. I imagine we'll see some subs from both sides shortly.

04:29 PM

65 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Havertz with his back to the goal receives the ball from Reece James in the box and tries to set up Loftus-Cheek, but Zaha gets a foot in and scoops the ball away.

04:27 PM

61 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Ayew plays a one-two with Ward, infield for Olise, who releases Ayew down the right, back to Olise, but he's dispossessed by Sterling who knocks it up to Aubameyang, but it's soon back to Palace.

A good period of possession for the home side here, but not much in the way of chances for either side over the past few minutes.

04:24 PM

Wilfried Zaha and Reece James battle for possession

Wilfried Zaha and Reece James battle for possession - PA
Wilfried Zaha and Reece James battle for possession - PA

04:23 PM

GOAL Liverpool 3 Brighton 2

Liverpool have a third! Back from 0-2 down, and it looks like it's an own goal from Adam Webster.

Liverpool players celebrate their third, an Adam Webster own goal - PA
Liverpool players celebrate their third, an Adam Webster own goal - PA

04:20 PM

56 mins: Chelsea substitute

Jorginho has struggled this afternoon, he is replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

04:19 PM

GOAL Fulham 0 Newcastle 4

It goes from bad to worse for Fulham at Craven Cottage as Miguel Almiron has got a fourth for Newcastle.

Miguel Almiron's fourth - Action Images via Reuters
Miguel Almiron's fourth - Action Images via Reuters

04:18 PM

54 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Palace with a free kick, dead centre of the Chelsea half.

Good ball in by Eze, Guehi wins the first ball in the six-yard box, Kepa flaps at it, but the ref signals for a Chelsea free kick for a foul on the Chelsea keeper.

04:16 PM

52 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

The pattern of this second half is very much the same as the first. Chelsea are having a lot of possession across their back four and looking for runs going forward, but not coming to anything yet.

04:14 PM

GOAL Liverpool 2 Brighton 2

Firmino has equalised for Liverpool at Anfield.

04:13 PM

GOAL Southampton 1 Everton 2

Three incredibly quick goals at the start of the second half at St Mary's.

Aribo put the Saints ahead in the 49th minute, before Coady eqaulised, and now McNeil has put Everton ahead on the 54th.

04:11 PM

Second half begins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Graham Potter failed to win in six games against Crystal Palace when he was Brighton manager.

Can he change this record with Chelsea this afternoon?

The second 45 kicks off, a few minutes later than the other matches given the six added minutes we had at the end of the first half after Nathaniel Clyne was stretchered off.

04:08 PM

Matt Law's half-time verdict at Selhurst Park

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first Chelsea goal to send his team in at half-time level. But the goal upset Crystal Palace because it was assisted by Thiago Silva who they thought should have been sent-off five minutes earlier.

Silva had stopped Jordan Ayew racing through with a cynical handball. Odsonne Edourad had given Palace an early lead and Chelsea got away with a number of scares at the back, with Silva, Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana all struggling.

04:06 PM

Luke Edwards' thoughts on Fulham's first-half performance

I will choose my words carefully here  Fulham have utterly abysmal and could be five or six down instead of 3-0. They looked beaten when the first goal went in after 11 minutes

03:56 PM

Half-time scores

  • Bournemouth 0 Brentford 0

  • Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

  • Fulham 0 Newcastle 3

  • Liverpool 1 Brighton 2

  • Southampton 0 Everton 0

03:56 PM

Half time: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

All square at Selhurst Park at the break. Chelsea came out flying, but Palace took the lead via Edouard, against the run of play. Aubameyang netted his first Chelsea goal with a wonderful turn and strike.

One of the most contentious moments of the half was when Thiago Silva handled the ball on the deck with Palace coming forward, 30 yards from goal. He was just given a yellow, but Palace players demanded a red. VAR did have a look at it.

Thiago Silva receives a yellow card  - AFP
Thiago Silva receives a yellow card - AFP

03:52 PM

45+5 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Havertz with a left-footed effort, he drags it just wide. What a run, he's fed by Sterling, runs about 10 or 15 yards. He opens his body up to shoot, but it's wide.

03:49 PM

45 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Six minutes of added time at Selhurst Park.

03:49 PM

45+1 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Mount has the ball rolled to him from the indirect free kick and he hits it into the side netting.

03:47 PM

45 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

A definite pass back by Ward to Guaita, and Chelsea have an indirect free kick on the edge of the left-hand of the six-yard box. What was he thinking there?

03:46 PM

GOAL Fulham 0 Newcastle 3

It's now three at Newcastle, Longstaff tucking away a third for Eddie Howe's men.

Carlos Vinícius has Aleksandar Mitrovic because of an injury.

03:44 PM

43 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

As Silva goes over the top of Clyne, he lands on his left ankle by the looks of it, which gives way. He's in a lot of pain and he's being loaded onto a stretcher. Play hasn't restarted following the goal several minutes ago.

Clyne is being stretchered off and it looks like he's being replaced by James Tomkins.

Nathaniel Clyne - Getty Images Europe
Nathaniel Clyne - Getty Images Europe

03:42 PM

40 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Clyne is on the deck after the equaliser. He looks in real pain and the stretchers are coming out. A real concern here for Patrick Vieira.

03:41 PM

38 mins: GOAL Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 1

Aubameyang is on the mark for Chelsea in the Premier League!

A diagonal ball to Aubameyang as the ball is recycled following the corner. He lets the ball roll across his body, his back to goal as it comes to him and he hoofs it into the bottom left-hand corner.

03:39 PM

35 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

Silva on halfway, sends it to Sterling, 60-yards up the pitch, Sterling tries to feed into across the area, didn't get it completely right but it deflects out for a corner.

Mount rolls it in across the deck, it comes to Aubameyang.

03:36 PM

GOAL Liverpool 1 Brighton 2

Roberto Firmino pulls one back for Liverpool.

03:35 PM

GOAL Fulham 0 Newcastle 2

Miguel Almiron has doubled Newcastle's lead at Fulham.

03:34 PM

33 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

Ayew tries to take the ball off Thiago Silva, he nicks it, but it's a yellow card for Silva as he handled the ball on the deck.

Free kick for Palace – the players are after a red card here. VAR will check this.

03:31 PM

30 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

Olise is away down the right-hand side, he's away from Mount, cuts into the penalty box and tries to play it into Zaha, but it's cleared out for a Palace throw.

03:27 PM

Luke Edwards is at Craven Cottage

Newcastle have every reason to thank the technology this week. VAR intervened to change a yellow card shown to Nathaniel Chalobah into a red. It was a horrible tackle on Sean Longstaff, at speed, studs connected above the boot on the ankle of his standing leg. Fulham can have no complaints about that.

And having taken the lead, Wilson's goal is allowed to stand after a needlessly long check for an offside in the build up.

So, the technology does work when used properly.

Callum Wilson scores Newcastle's first goal - Action Images via Reuters
Callum Wilson scores Newcastle's first goal - Action Images via Reuters

03:26 PM

24 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

A series of one-touch passes from Chelsea results in James getting a cross in from the right. It falls to Sterling, but he toe-pokes wide, just shaving the outside of the post.

03:25 PM

Graham Potter in the Chelsea dugout

Graham Potter - PA
Graham Potter - PA

03:24 PM

GOAL Liverpool 0 Brighton 2

Brighton have gone two up at Anfield. Trossard with his second, very similar to the first but with Alexander-Arnold caught in possession in the build-up.

03:22 PM

20 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

Havertz crosses and Mount gets on the end of it with his head, going for the bottom right-hand corner, but he's just off there, didn't quite get it right. A close opportunity to equalise.

03:20 PM

Greg Wilcox is at Selhurst Park

Chelsea looking shaky at the back – Selhurst Park is rocking now and the hosts look threatening every time they go forward and steady at the back.

Selhurst Park - PA
Selhurst Park - PA

03:16 PM

GOAL Fulham 0 Newcastle 1

Callum Wilson has given Newcastle the lead at Craven Cottage with a right-footed shot from close range slotted into the bottom-right corner after Fulham were reduced to 10 men after Chalobah was sent off in the eighth minute.

03:13 PM

10 mins: Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

Kepa makes a fine save from an Eze 25-yarder! He pushes the follow-up behind for a corner.

A comfortable start for Chelsea, but it's Palace who are on the front foot now.

Eze drives another shot, snaked through six-yard box and it's not far off at all.

03:11 PM

7 mins: GOAL Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 0

What a ball from the right-hand side from Ayew. Edouard gets on the end of it, the ball bouncing ahead of him but he tucks it away with aplomb. That's his first goal since January and it's completely against the run of play.

03:06 PM

GOAL: Liverpool 0 Brighton 1

Leandro Trossard has scored an unlikely early goal for Brighton at Anfield.

My colleague Tamara Prenn leads live coverage of that game.

03:03 PM

1 min: Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 0

Sterling gets an early volley in, but it's comfortably into Guaita's hands.

Sterling start on the right of a three, Havertz on the left with Mount slotting in behind Aubameyang.

03:02 PM

Kick off!

And we're away at Selhurst Park.

02:57 PM

And with three minutes to kick off...'s Harri Thomas taking over for the live action.

02:57 PM

A beautiful day to be in South London

Football in the autumn. What a terrific thing it is.

Selhurst park
Selhurst park

02:53 PM

View from the gods

Matt Law reports: Two of Potter's Chelsea coaches are set to take a Bird's-eye view of todays game, with first-team coach Bruno Saltor and goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts on the list of people scheduled to sit in the gantry. Conor Gallagher will be watching from the substitutes' bench against the club he spent last season on loan at and the midfielder has just been given a very warm reception from the home fans on his way to the dressing-rooms.

02:52 PM

Chelsea already lining up new signings

With a few minutes to go before kick-off at Selhurst Park, there's just time to catch up on the latest Chelsea transfer news, as reported by my colleague Matt Law in the week.

Not only are the club entering the race for Jude Bellingham's signature, but they've got designs on  Christopher Nkunku at RB Leipzig after a secret medical.

02:46 PM

Premier League's top scorers

Any movement in this list today? Is Haaland a shoo-in for that golden boot?

11 goals: E. Haaland (Manchester City) 
7 goals: H. Kane (Tottenham)
6 goals: A. Mitrović (Fulham)
5 goals: Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) I. Toney (Brentford) 
4 goals: W. Zaha (Crystal Palace) A. Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion) Rodrigo (Leeds)
3 goals: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) L. Díaz (Liverpool) P. Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) J. Maddison (Leicester) Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) M. Ødegaard (Arsenal) M. Rashford (Manchester United) Son Heung-Min (Tottenham) R. Sterling (Chelsea)

02:37 PM

Meanwhile in North London

The Arsenal-Spurs match was a bit of a sensation. Thomas Partey scored an absolute screamer, Harry Kane's penalty cemented his position as Spurs' top-scorer in the derby, Jesus pounced on a Lloris error to put Arsenal bakc in charge, Emerson was sent off for a studs-up lunge on Martinelli, and that man Xhaka sealed a 3-1 victory for the Gunners. 

Breathless stuff, expertly described by my colleague Harri Thomas over here.

02:35 PM

Luke Edwards on the team announced in West London

The return of Callum Wilson up front is a huge boost to Newcastle but it’s offset by the news Jacob Murphy, who has been poor whenever he’s come off the bench this season, starts on the wing. Allan Saint Maximin still not fit enough to play. Joelinton hadn’t trained all week so only makes the bench.

Fascinating test for Newcastle at Fulham. A game they are expected to win, yet the London side are above then in the table and have caused every team they’ve played problems this season.

02:31 PM

If you think public transport is a mess...

....wait until you see how the next month and a half is shaping up for Premier League clubs.

This is what a traffic jam really looks like.

As Jeremy Wilson reported this week, the effect of the Winter World Cup is to a condense a quarter of a season into 10 per cent of the calendar.

02:19 PM

Southampton and Everton teams

Southampton: Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Kotchap, Caleta-Car, Larios, Ward-Prowse, Maitland-Niles, Mara, Aribo, Stuart Armstrong, Adams. Subs: McCarthy, Adam Armstrong, Perraud, Djenepo, Salisu, Edozie, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Walcott.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Onana, Gueye, Iwobi, Gray, Maupay, McNeil. Subs: Keane, Gordon, Begovic, Doucoure, Davies, Ruben Vinagre, Rondon, Garner, John.

Referee: Andre Marriner

02:18 PM

Fulham and Newcastle teams

Fulham: Leno, Mbabu, Adarabioyo, Ream, Kurzawa, Reed, Chalobah, James, Andreas Pereira, Reid, Mitrovic. Subs: Rodak, Duffy, Kebano, Cairney, Onomah, Vinicius, Diop, Harris, Parkes.

Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Willock, Almiron, Wilson, Murphy. Subs: Dummett, Lascelles, Joelinton, Lewis, Targett, Karius, Wood, Fraser, Anderson.

Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire)

02:17 PM

Bournemouth and Brentford teams

Bournemouth: Neto, Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura, Cook, Lerma, Solanke, Billing, Tavernier, Moore. Subs: Travers, Stephens, Christie, Marcondes, Stacey, Lowe, Dembele, Hill, Anthony.

Brentford: Raya, Ajer, Jansson, Mee, Henry, Baptiste, Janelt, Jensen, Mbeumo, Toney, Damsgaard. Subs: Hickey, Dasilva, Wissa, Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Roerslev, Cox, Trevitt.

Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield)

02:16 PM

Chelsea and Palace teams in full

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Ward, Guehi, Mitchell, Eze, Doucoure, Olise, Ayew, Edouard, Zaha. Subs: Milivojevic, Tomkins, Mateta, Schlupp, Hughes, Johnstone, Ebiowei, Riedewald, Gordon.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Fofana, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, James, Mount, Jorginho, Kovacic, Sterling, Aubameyang, Havertz. Subs: Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Bettinelli, Chalobah, Broja, Ziyech, Gallagher, Koulibaly, Azpilicueta.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)

02:14 PM

Some winning streak

Chelsea have won past last 10 games against Palace in all competitions, which may make the difficult journey worth it for the travelling fans.

02:14 PM

An exasperated Matt Law writes...

Just getting to Selhurst Park today is a triumph for those of us who do not live in or around Croydon, thanks to the train strike. The Chelsea fans who have made it will see Graham Potter's first Premier League team selection since succeeding Thomas Tuchel. Potter has moved to a back four, deciding against bringing in Kalidou Koulibaly to replace Marc Cucarella, who is missing through illness. Instead, Thiago Silva partners Wesley Fofana and Mason Mount will play behind a front three of Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz. Patrick Vieira has named a bold team, with five forward players starting together.

02:12 PM

Potter: I'm not sexy

Much mirth at at Stamford Bridge yesterday when Graham Potter was asked whether he had designs on becoming a "sexy" manager now that he's at Chelsea rather than Brighton.

"I sincerely hope not, would be my instinctive answer," Potter said. "I very rarely feel sexy!

"If you ever have any success or you're trying to do anything, you have to be true to yourself, I think.

"And I'm not saying that I'm right or wrong or anything like that, I have to be me.

"And part of being me is a little bit of self-deprecation.

"I'm intelligent enough to know that I started off below the bottom tier, and after a process of trial and error and a lot of hard work, luck and help from other people I've got to this point.

"And that's a fantastic achievement and something I'm really proud of.

"But at the same time I'm a human being, certainly not perfect and don't think I've cracked anything or have all the answers."

Potter has driven the same car for three years (since moving from Swansea to Brighton) and appears to be wholly unmoved by the trappings that his new position entitles him to. He says he hasn't moved house from Hove, where he lives with his wife and three sons.

"We haven't moved, our lifestyle hasn't changed," Potter said. "We're not in an open-top car driving round Brighton and Hove, or Surrey or Cobham or anything. There's no Lamborghini on order, I'm still driving the same car that I picked up in England when I returned from Swansea. So my life hasn't changed at all if I'm honest."

There were a few eyebrows raised, however, when the new Chelsea boss suggested that the facilities he was accustomed to on the South Coast were better than those available at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham.

"Brighton does have a lovely training ground, and in some ways equal if not better in terms of the facilities," he said. "But what we have here [at Chelsea] is a history, and recognition, photos of people winning major trophies.

"And that's the main thing. That's where the expectation, or the pressure, the difference is."