Chelsea boss Graham Potter admits Thiago Silva was lucky to stay on the pitch after bringing play to a halt by handling the ball during his side’s Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Silva stretched out his left arm while he was lying on the ground to guide the ball away from Eagles striker Jordan Ayew, who could have been through on goal if it wasn’t for the Brazil international’s illegal intervention.
“I thought it was touch and go,” Potter said after the match as he discussed the incident. “The fact he was quite far from the goal saved him and it could’ve gone the other way.”
Chelsea had come out of the blocks quickly at Selhurst Park as they dominated the early exchanges. But Palace went ahead after seven minutes as Odsonne Edouard turned in Ayew’s tantalising cross. The hosts then enjoyed the lion’s share of possession as they went in search of a second.
And with 33 minutes on the clock, Ayew could have been hopeful of doubling his side’s advantage as he looked to race away from Silva, who was stranded on the floor, and towards the Chelsea penalty area. Silva was shown a yellow card by referee Chris Kavanagh for his hand ball. And after a VAR check, he chose not to upgrade it to a red.
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“We’re delighted with the result,” Potter added. “It’s a tough place to come. I thought we started quite well but conceded from the first action into the box. Credit to the boys, they recovered well and did not let their heads go down. It was nice to get an equaliser and get back in the game.
“We had to survive moments as they are a good side with dangerous players. To be a goal down and come away with three points is fantastic so credit to the players. There’s character, that’s for sure. They could’ve felt sorry for themselves after conceding the goal but the players stood up all the way through. There was a collective spirit among the players. We are delighted with the three points.”
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