Chelsea down Manchester United thanks to record-breaking Cole Palmer


Chelsea down Manchester United thanks to record-breaking Cole Palmer

Cole Palmer and his typical 'ice-cold' celebration
Cole Palmer and his typical 'ice-cold' celebrationProfimedia
It was another one-man show as Cole Palmer (21) lived up to his nickname 'Cold' at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening, keeping his cool, converting two penalties and completing not only Chelsea's incredible comeback but also his maiden Premier League hat-trick in the 101st minute of the match.

The Blues, thanks largely to another great performance from Palmer, beat Manchester United in the league (4-3) for the first time in seven years, after trailing by a goal in the 99th minute. "Madness," said the English superstar after a crazy seven-goal thriller.

In many ways, it was a crazy game at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night. The fans in attendance saw an offensive gala with seven goals, a dramatic end to the game, Palmer's first hat-trick, and plenty of statistical curiosities.

One of those stats is unique to Chelsea. In their last two games, statisticians have counted 47 or more shots. Specifically, this happened on Saturday against Burnley (51) and then on Thursday against Manchester United (47). That amount of shots has occurred in the Premier League on those two occasions and only those two occasions in the last nine seasons.

And that is far from all. There have been an incredible 88 shots in two fixtures between the Blues and Red Devils this season, the most since Queens Park Rangers' two meetings with Leicester (92) in 2014/2015.

The current state of Chelsea is perfectly summed up by Palmer's post-match statement, "Madness." He and his teammates are unreadable under coach Mauricio Pochettino. Sometimes they play brilliantly, sometimes appallingly. Their results resemble a roller-coaster ride. But one thing cannot be denied - they are incredibly offensive-minded with 18 goals scored in their last six competitive games.

Chelsea's recent fixtures
Chelsea's recent fixturesFlashscore

According to Opta, Palmer has completed the most comebacks by scoring late goals in Premier League history (or rather since the 2006/2007 season to be precise, when they started collecting similar data). Moreover, his 101st-minute score meant that the England international scored his first hat-trick in the most famous club competition. "A hat-trick is a hat-trick. I'm really happy about it," beamed the youngster.

But let's take a step or two back. First, Palmer converted two penalties - another unique feat in statistical terms, as the City alumnus was the second-youngest player to do so in the Premier League (Mario Balotelli was only 20 when he did it in 2010). 

"I had a few penalties this season. I'm just going to continue to try to score them. If I get penalties, I'm going to try to score, I'm not going to try to miss," the Manchester native added in his typically icy style. It is not only because of his first name that he is nicknamed 'Cold' Palmer.

Still only 21 years old, the Englishman did not forget his traditional celebration on Thursday, during which he shivers from the cold. He showed it right from the first penalty kick that sent Chelsea into a 2-0 lead. After the next two goals, there was no room for it. "I didn't know what to do. I was running 'round when I scored," Palmer said of the euphoria after the third goal.

"It's a big winner. It's a massive momentum booster. It puts everyone in a good mood. Hopefully, we can kick on," concluded the footballer, whose performances in the current season (19 goals and 12 assists) have put him in contention for a place in the England squad for the upcoming Euros.

Or perhaps coach Gareth Southgate should leave out the player who attempted nine shots (five on target) and created eight chances on Thursday night alone? The first player in the Premier League to do so since the start of the 2016/2017 season.

Cole Palmer was the star of the show
Cole Palmer was the star of the showOpta by StatsPerform

See the full Premier League standings here.


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