Jamie Carragher has lauded Cole Palmer for his ‘arrogance’, after the forward played a key role in helping Chelsea pick up a 4-4 draw against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The hugely entertaining clash started with controversy, as Erling Haaland won City a penalty when going down under pressure from Marc Cucurella. The defender complained to the referee about Haaland holding him as well, but his claims fell on deaf ears.
Haaland stepped up and sent Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez the wrong way to give City the lead.
However, Chelsea then got level through Thiago Silva, as he did well to get on the end of a Conor Gallagher corner and head into the far corner.
In the 37th minute, Chelsea left City stunned when they took the lead. Josko Gvardiol failed to deal with a Palmer pass into the box, and this allowed Reece James to set up Raheem Sterling for a simple tap in.
Chelsea did not manage to go into the break ahead though, as Manuel Akanji was left unmarked from a Bernardo Silva cross and resultantly headed home.
And it did not take City long to take the initiative in the second half, with Haaland bundling the ball over the line after being played in by Julian Alvarez. Chelsea, though, never gave up and dragged themselves back to 3-3, as Nicolas Jackson slotted in after Ederson failed to properly deal with a Gallagher shot.
Rodri thought he had won the game for City when his left-footed strike deflected in off Thiago Silva, only for Ruben Dias to end up bringing down Armando Broja in the box at the other end. Palmer, who left City for Chelsea in the summer, confidently stepped up and smashed past Ederson, as the spoils were shared in West London.
Cole Palmer scores against former club
During an appearance on Sky Sports, Carragher hailed Palmer for the strong mentality he showed when scoring the spot-kick, while also labelling the 21-year-old as Mauricio Pochettino’s rising talisman.
“He hit that [penalty] with so much conviction,” the former Liverpool defender said (12/11, at 19:19). “I said on commentary about the [football] arrogance of him. To go into a football club at such a young age, and a club that has spent hundreds of millions on players, and to say, ‘you know what, I’m taking the penalties’.
“I know there was an incident with Sterling. But that [Palmer’s goal] is why he’s on the penalties.
“I think that tells you a lot about what his character’s like, the fact he’s come into this football club and wants the responsibility. And it feels like when Chelsea are looking for a goal, it’s ‘I’m getting the goal, I’m getting the ball, give me the ball, I’m going to do something’.”
Fellow pundit Micah Richards, meanwhile, heaped praise on Chelsea and insisted there is ‘something special’ going on under Pochettino.
‘Something brewing’ at Chelsea, says Micah Richards
“This Chelsea side, I said it from the start of the season, there’s something special. Something’s brewing,” he said.
“They’ve got the right manager, they’ve got young players who want to create something, be on the front foot. I always thought it would be dangerous [for City].”
Richards continued: “I just love them. Normally when managers comes in, it takes them six months [to] a year to stamp their authority on what they want to do. I can see what Chelsea are trying to do with the full-backs, the midfield rotation, the way they want to press from the front.
“Chelsea have actually played well this season, but they’ve not finished off their chances. The difference now is, against Spurs, again today, they’ve finished off their chances.”
Former Chelsea, City and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was also on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game. He praised Palmer’s team-mate Sterling, who was just as much of a handful for City to deal with.
“Raheem was unreal today,” Sturridge said. “The way he went about it, dynamic performance, he seemed like he had the bit between his teeth. He wanted to show everyone what he was about, and he certainly did that today.”