Graham Potter admits Chelsea were LUCKY Thiago Silva was not sent off against Crystal Palace before the Brazilian managed their equalizer… as he hailed the Blues for their ‘character and spirit’ to secure a late win
- Graham Potter admitted Thiago Silva was lucky enough to stay on the pitch for Chelsea
- Crystal Palace felt frustrated Silva’s handball only got a yellow card
- The Brazilian defender then helped set up Chelsea’s equalizing goal in a 2-1 win
- Potter said he was ‘delighted’ to get three points on the board as Blues manager
Graham Potter admits Chelsea could have played with ten men against Crystal Palace had a call against Thiago Silva been made the other way.
In the first half, with Chelsea already trailing Odsonne Edouard’s opener, the 38-year-old Brazilian was caught near the ball and went to the ground, holding the ball deliberately by hand to prevent Jordan Ayew from Palace broke through on goal.
The centre-back was shown a yellow card by referee Chris Kavanagh and, although a VAR review followed, Silva’s penalty was dropped, much to the frustration of Palace manager Patrick Vieira.
Thiago Silva’s first-half yellow could have been worse, manager Graham Potter admitted afterwards
Potter told BBC Sport after the match: “I thought it was touch and go. The fact that he was quite far from the target saved him and it could have gone the other way. It’s close, I can understand Patrick’s frustration. It’s a 50-50.’
To add to Palace’s gloom, Silva was then a key assistant in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equalizing goal for the Blues in the 38th minute.
Substitute Conor Gallagher then broke Palace’s hearts on his return to the club when he hit a brilliant late curling winner from afar to seal Potter’s first win as Chelsea manager.
Conor Gallagher’s curled shot against his former club sealed Potter’s first win as Chelsea boss
Potter said: ‘We are very happy with the result. It’s a difficult place to come. I thought we started pretty well, but conceded from the first move in the penalty area.
“Thanks to the guys, they recovered well and didn’t drop their heads. It was nice to get the equalizer and get back into the game.
“We had to survive moments because they are a good side with dangerous players. To score a goal and get away with three points is fantastic, so credit to the players.
Potter praised the ‘character’ showing his side after falling behind early in Selhurst Park
“There’s character, that’s for sure. They could have felt sorry for themselves after conceding the goal, but the players stood up all the time.
“There was a collective spirit among the players. We are happy with the three points.’
In Chelsea’s next two games, they return to Stamford Bridge, first against AC Milan in the Champions League, and then they welcome Wolves next Saturday.