Ben Chilwell scored his first Chelsea goal as the defender’s dynamic display on his Premier League debut for the Blues inspired a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Hampered by a heel injury, Chilwell had a delayed start to his first season with Chelsea following his £50 million ($64 million) move from Leicester in August.
But the England left-back is making up for lost time after delivering an influential performance in his third game following a pair of League Cup outings.
While Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has invested in a host of attacking talent since the end of last season, here it was Chilwell efforts that broke down Palace’s stubborn defence at Stamford Bridge.
Chilwell’s thumping finish put Chelsea ahead soon after half-time and he provided the assist for Kurt Zouma’s header as the Blues doubled their lead.
Jorginho added a pair of late penalties for Chelsea to complete the rout, although the second caused some angst for Tammy Abraham as the Blues striker argued with Cesar Azpilicueta about who should take it before losing the heated debate with his captain.
That spat shouldn’t take the gloss off a composed display from Chelsea, who bounced back from their midweek League Cup defeat against Tottenham and ended a run of two successive league games without a win.
The defensive blunders that contributed to their 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion were erased and, crucially, Lampard’s men found their cutting edge against defensive opponents.
Capping an encouraging day for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic came off the bench after injury for his first appearance of the season.