The reign of new Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira got off to a poor start as the Eagles fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to London rivals Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel’s charges, fresh off the back of their UEFA Super Cup success, were in fine form at Stamford Bridge and took control of proceeding after an excellent free-kick from left-back Marcos Alonso opened the scoring.
American international Christian Pulisic doubled the Blues’ lead five minutes before the break, capitalising on a mistake by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who spilled a Mason Mount cross.
Trevor Chalobah later wrapped up the three points with a thunderous drive from distance, condemning Vieira an opening day defeat in his first time in charge of a Premier League fixture.
Palace were limp in attack throughout the entire 90 minutes, rarely threatening the Chelsea goal. Although Jordan Ayew’s header was their only effort on target, the Ghanaian forward was particularly underwhelming.
Was Ayew the worst player for Palace?
As per SofaScore, the 29-year-old received a match rating of just 5.9 out of 10, the joint-lowest mark received by any player on the pitch. He lost 15 of his 24 duels, lost possession 16 times and only completed two of his six attempted dribbles.
In a recent press conference, Vieira admitted that he is hoping to bring in some attacking reinforcements before the current transfer window closes; and after today’s showing, it’s easy to understand why.
The Eagles face newly-promoted Brentford next weekend, a fixture on which Ayew will be hoping to have a much bigger impact than today as Vieira searches for his first league points as Palace manager.