Cole Palmer haunts Man City as Chelsea share eight-goal thriller – Six talking points
CHELSEA 4-4 MANCHESTER CITY: Cole Palmer scored an injury-time penalty to steal a draw for Mauricio Pochettino’s impressive hosts in an instant Premier League classic

Cole Palmer scored an injury-time penalty to steal a draw for Chelsea against former club Manchester City in an instant Premier League classic.

The visitors took the lead when Erling Haaland scored a penalty that had been controversially awarded by referee Anthony Taylor. But Chelsea equalised almost immediately through Thiago Silva’s header at a corner. And they took the lead when Sterling tapped in Reece James’ cross at the back post.

The hosts were soon pegged back though when Manuel Akanji thumped in a header of his own to equalise in first-half stoppage time. Minutes after the break, Haaland scored his second by sliding in to convert Julian Alvarez’s cross, but Chelsea hit back when Nicolas Jackson continued his rich vein of form to bury home from a rebound.

Rodri thought he had won it for the visitors when his shot deflected off Silva and into the net. But Palmer fired in a spot-kick in the third minute of injury-time to steal a point. Here are the talking points from a cracker at Stamford Bridge.

1. VAR under the spotlight yet again
Another Premier League weekend, more VAR controversy. This time it was the penalty that put Manchester City ahead that caused outrage, with Anthony Taylor pointing to the spot after Marc Cucurella appeared to pull Erling Haaland to the ground at the back post.

But replays showed that Haaland had also grabbed hold of Cucurella before he fell over. Even so, VAR Jarred Gillett decided to confirm Taylor’s decision to award the spot-kick sparking fury from Chelsea.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino could be seen wagging his finger after watching a replay of the incident, while Jamie Carragher blasted the decision during commentary. It will be a decision that heaps even more pressure on the PGMOL.

2. Chelsea’s horror run comes to an end

During the first-half, Chelsea passed the unwanted mark of going 10 hours without scoring against City. That came to an end in style on Sunday, with the Blues scoring twice against the reigning champions.

Thiago Silva, Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer were all on the scoresheet. Those goals also ensured another horror run came to an end, with Chelsea avoiding defeat against City for the first time in two years.

Before Sunday’s game, Chelsea had lost their last six clashes with City in succession since their win in the 2021 Champions League final. That awful run is now at an end, much to Pochettino’s delight.

3. Sterling fires reminder to City

Raheem Sterling was allowed to leave Manchester City in the summer of 2022 and for a time the decision to let him leave appeared to be the right one. But Pep Guardiola will be cursing it after Sunday, with Sterling scoring Chelsea’s second in a brilliant display.

He was on hand to tap in Reece James ‘ cross at the back post for the hosts’ second of the night. It was a goal that will also have sent a reminder to England boss Gareth Southgate of what he can do.

Southgate opted to again leave him out of the Three Lions squad that will face Malta and North Macedonia. But Sterling was superb against City, suggesting the England boss has made a mistake.

And he wasn’t the only ex-City star to prove crucial for Chelsea…

4. Chelsea defence no match for Haaland

The question of how to stop Erling Haaland has proved to be a difficult question for Premier League managers since his arrival last summer. And it was one that Chelsea had no answer for on Sunday evening as their defence was bullied by the Norwegian.

Haaland scored twice at Stamford Bridge, once from the penalty spot and again when he slid in to convert Julian Alvarez’s cross. City’s star striker was able to do virtually whatever he wanted, finishing with an Expected Goals ratio of more than 2.00.

He had three shots on target, with more than five touches in Chelsea’s box alone, as well as winning 100 percent of his duels. It was another starring performance from Haaland, who has now scored 13 goals in the opening 12 games of the season.

5. Jackson continues rich run

Fresh from scoring a hat-trick against Spurs, the pressure was on Nicolas Jackson to prove that was no flash in the pan. He did just that against City, burying his only clear-cut chance of the game.

Conor Gallagher fired in a shot from outside the box that City keeper Ederson was unable to hold on to. And Jackson was on hand to take a touch and then fire in to equalise for the hosts.

Following a slow start to the season, Jackson will be pleased to again get on the scoresheet.

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