45+2 mins: For half an hour Chelsea were so dominant they could have been playing against amateurs, or schoolboys, or lumps of plasticine. Palace improved towards the end of the half, though, and did enough to suggest that this might just end up being a bad defeat rather than a complete humiliation.
45+1 mins: The referee only wants one minute of stoppage time. It start with Ayew in possession on the right; he tries to win a corner off Chilwell, but the ball deflects back into him on its way out and Chelsea have a goal kick.
43 mins: Hudson-Odoi shoots from way off to the right of the penalty area. Literally a million-to-one shot. It goes way, way wide.
42 mins: They’ve done it again! Palace have had a much better last five minutes, and have improved so much they’ve just forced Chelsea into having a goal kick.
39 mins: Palace put the ball in the Chelsea penalty area, and it’s instantly headed away again. Still, the ball has at least visited the box.
36 mins: Mount and Zaha do a little gentle pushing, but it doesn’t progress to VAR-involvement levels.
35 mins: Off the line! Mount sends a corner to the far post this time, and Rudiger’s header would have flown into the corner had Van Aanholt not been there.
33 mins: Mount exchanges passes with Hudson-Odoi before blasting a shot goalwards, which Guaita shovels behind. This has been an extraordinarily one-sided opening third of a football match.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea (Zouma, 30 mins)
Excellent delivery from Mount, whose free-kick dips at the far post and Zouma nods it in!
29 mins: Kouyate is booked for obliterating Chilwell out on the Palace right.
24 mins: The ball has spent 3% of its time in Chelsea’s defensive third, which is a surprise.
23 mins: Spectacular save! The ball is played over the Palace defence to Havertz, who with his first touch lifts it over Ward’s challenge, and with his second volleys goalwards! But Guaita saves, and Pulisic is too slow to turn in the rebound.
22 mins: Van Aanholt just got the ball into Chelsea’s half, and he savoured the feeling of having it there for about a third of a second, before he was dispossessed.
21 mins: I think all of the (now) 18% of possession that Palace have had, has come in their own defensive third. I’d like to know how long the ball has spent in Chelsea’s half, and wager it’s not very.
19 mins: A special 19th-minute post to note that Palace have so far had 19% of possession.
16 mins: Cahill dives to head Chilwell’s corner clear before Rudiger can volley it in. Chelsea haven’t scored three goals in a game under Tuchel but look minded to do that and more this evening.
13 mins: Two very good goals, those. Palace should have stopped the first, but the move that led to the second ripped their defence to pieces and turned it into papier mache.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea (Pulisic, 10 mins)
An assist now for Havertz, who at the end of a fine move pulls back to Pulisic, who takes a touch and rifles a shot past Guaita at the near post and into the roof of the net!
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea (Havertz, 9 mins)
Mount’s cross from the right is volleyed goalwards by Pulisic and well saved by Guaita. It’s cleared out to the left by Palace, where Eze, rather than booting it clear, goes on an enormously foolish dribble and is dispossessed. It’s passed to Havertz in the area and he moves the ball onto his left foot and passes it in at the far post!
5 mins: The first shot of the game is completely ludicrous, a volley from Mount from an unpromising position to the right of the penalty area that misses the target by an enormous margin.
5 mins: Hudson-Odoi crosses to Pulisic, who goes over under Ward’s challenge. I’d expect Chelsea to appeal for a penalty there, but they didn’t, so they don’t get one.
2 mins: The ball gets a bit stuck on the left side of Palace’s defence, bouncing between members of the two teams but always within the same few square metres.
The players are on their way out! Just an anthem and a two-minute silence stand between us and football.
Chelsea have made three changes to the team that beat Porto in midweek, with Christensen, James and Werner dropping out and Zouma, Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic coning in. Crystal Palace are unchanged, but James McCarthy is back after a few games out with injury, and on the bench.
Liverpool have just scored a lovely stoppage-time probable winner against Aston Villa. Rob Smyth has the latest here:
I know what you’re saying: who on earth is Rak-Sakyi? Jesurun Rak-Sakyi is an 18-year-old described on Crystal Palace’s website as “a talented attacking wideman who previously represented Chelsea” and has been “described by manager Roy Hodgson as having ‘a big future’”.
Team news is in, and you can work it out for yourselves from this list of names:
Chelsea did the double over Crystal Palace last year, and also the year before that, and they won their home game against them 4-0 in October. None of this sounds like good news for Roy Hodgson’s brave charges, and then there’s the fact that Crystal Palace have only won one of their last five games (against West Brom), while Chelsea have only lost one of their last five games (also against West Brom). Still, probably worth playing it out, for the sake of sporting decency.
Some team news: Michy Batshuayi is unable to spent the entire match on Crystal Palace’s bench because they are playing his parent club (he has, to be fair, actually played six minutes in their last six games, and that was in their last one, and he scored, so he might have seen some more action this evening had he only been allowed). Chelsea have a fully fit squad to choose from, but Thiago Silva is suspended following last week’s comedy red card and there might be some Champions League-related tiredness or distraction – the other English clubs still in Europe’s premier competition have both had dodgy days. Can Chelsea avoid the trap? Time to find out!