After the Graham Potter era sputtered to a start with a Champions League draw to RB Salzburg, a late winner from Conor Gallagher secured a 2-1 victory for the Blues over Crystal Palace in their new maanger's Premier League debut. The attack is still a concern for Chelsea as it took a late moment of brilliance for Gallagher to score the winner though Chelsea did finally got a goal from their number nine in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which is a good sign after their struggles to get goal production under previous manager Thomas Tuchel.
Crystal Palace managed the game well after Odsonne Edouard opened the scoring in the seventh minute but they were stretched thin by injuries. Already without Chris Richards and Jochim Andersen, Nathaniel Clyne left the match on a stretcher causing Joel Ward to move to right back with James Tompkins entering. Gallagher's goal is now the fourth that Crystal Palace has allowed after the 80th minute in Premier League play with two of those goals changing the state of the game and costing them four points this season.
Vieira will want to figure out how to get his team to close out matches as the Eagles are now olytwo points above the relegation zone despite their good performances this season. But no one was stopping Gallagher's goal.
As Gallagher has struggled for playing time this season, this is the kind of goal that could see him stake a claim to a midfield spot. Christian Pulisic also had a run to assist the goal that wasn't tracked by the Palace defense and he picked up the assist, but this was a goal that was down to Gallagher. If Potter is going to persist with a 4-3-3, Pulisic will need more playing time as it suits his direct nature, but more likely the formation shift was due to Chelsea missing Marc Cucurella who plays on the left side of the ack three, than a true shift in identity.
The Chelsea defense was better, only allowing three of Palace's seven shots to hit the target, but they should've done better on the opening goal. Mason Mount and Jorginho also had more disappointing games and Chelsea improved only after the introduction of Gallagher. With N'Golo Kante also returning to heath, Potter will have some big decisions to make in midfield. the result takes the Blues into fifth place trailing Potter's former Brighton side who drew with Liverpool.
Heading into a match with AC Milan on Tuesday, midfield balance will be something that Potter will be thinking about after how the match ended. With games coming thick and fast, he won't have much time to figure out his best XI as the Blues need victories now.