Chelsea’s match-winning goal scorer Conor Gallagher described “priceless” by Pochettino

Chelsea comeback win
Connor Gallagher scored two goals, the second one in stoppage-time, to lead Chelsea to a 3-1 comeback win at Crystal Palace. Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images

Chelsea’s match-winning goal scorer Conor Gallagher was described by manager Mauricio Pochettino as “priceless” after his two goals on Monday night helped Chelsea defeat Crystal Palace 3-1 in the Premier League.

Jefferson Lerma’s incredible strike in the first half put Chelsea under 1-0 at the half, but Gallagher’s goals barely a minute into the second half and the game-winning goal in the 91st minute broke Palace’s resolve. Chelsea finished the game at Selhurst Park with three points after a third goal from Enzo Fernández in the 94th minute of play.

In the first, Gallagher finished beautifully after a cross from Malo Gusto, and in the second, he skillfully tucked home from the edge of the area to give Chelsea the victory.

Regarding Gallagher, Pochettino stated, “I think he’s a player with a great commitment to the team, always trying to compensate every single situation.” To have a player like him is invaluable. We needed this victory, which is why I’m so thrilled for him.

During the January transfer window, Gallagher was linked to a move away from Chelsea, but he chose to stay. Gallagher’s long-term future is unclear because his contract expires at the end of the following season, although Pochettino claims that prior to last month, Gallagher had no intention of leaving the team.

“Always he decided, what he said to me was that he wanted to stay at Chelsea,” said Pochettino. But the club and him are the main players. He has one more year left on his contract, so I’m not [worried about] this kind of thing. However, that is a problem for the club and him.

After Thiago Silva was substituted after 61 minutes due to a groyne injury, Pochettino stated that the team would evaluate the extent of the injury on Tuesday. He also stated that Malo Gusto was tired rather than hurt later on.

Pochettino’s team was playing inconsistently going into this game. They had suffered Premier League losses to Wolves and Liverpool in their previous three games, but they had won the FA Cup 3-1 at Aston Villa in their most recent game. The task for the team traveling to Selhurst Park was to perform similarly to their performance against Villa, rather than as they had in their previous two Premier League games.

After Pochettino switched to a two-up front lineup with Christopher Nkunku replacing Noni Madueke at halftime, Chelsea gained a clinical advantage in the second half despite dominating possession and only managing one shot off target in the first half.

They continued to play with the same level of intensity that they did against Villa, and from there they put together their winning performance. Chelsea’s task is to keep trying to put up a 90-minute performance. Pochettino stated, “We need to change that consistency.”

We must attempt to play and perform consistently in a manner similar to how we did against Aston Villa, and we must start the game differently. It’s challenging, but it’s not easy. The three points were crucial, and I’m happy about that.

After Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City on Sunday, they will play Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on February 25.

Conversely, Hodgson was dejected by the loss. Star players Michael Olise, Marc Guehi, and Eberechi Eze are all out for Crystal Palace, who are five points above the relegation zone in 15th place in the league.

“I’m not really in the mood if I’m being brutally honest of [talking about] positives and trying to find things to say that would cheer me up, because I don’t know what could be said that would cheer me up,” Hodgson said following the defeat.

What can I say to lift the players’ spirits? With the players we have returning and these people performing so well, I suppose I might conclude that the 14 games we have left will go well for the team’s future.

“But of course we still don’t know when Olise, Eze will be back, so we might be battling through like we’ve done tonight for a few more games before we can look at a team which will threaten the opposition a bit more than we did today.”

But even with their recent bad performance, Hodgson is confident the team can make it out of the basement because Adam Wharton, a January acquisition, impressed on Monday. After that, they have a crucial game against Everton before hosting Burnley at home. “It’s a bad period but it’s been caused by the injury situation,” Hodgson stated. “We still have 14 games left, which is a lot of matches and points, and I believe we’ve demonstrated enough.

Although there is no room for complacency and points are crucial to escape the relegation zone, I don’t have any concerns. This team of players is talented enough, and tonight’s performance strengthened my confidence.

Credits: ESPN

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