Chelsea hat-trick hero Palmer snatches 4-3 win over Man United in thriller



Fri, 05 Apr 2024 - 08:28 GMT


Fri, 05 Apr 2024 - 08:28 GMT

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) - Chelsea staged a last-gasp comeback to beat Manchester United 4-3 with Cole Palmer bagging a hat-trick to turn a madcap Premier League match on its head after the Reds seemed to have staged their own unlikely turnaround in a thriller on Thursday.


Chelsea's top scorer Palmer struck twice deep into added time at Stamford Bridge to save the Blues who were on the verge of a 3-2 home defeat. United remain in sixth spot and still 11 points behind fourth-placed Villa albeit with a game in hand.


Timed at 100 minutes and 39 seconds, Palmer's clincher was the latest winning goal on record in a Premier League game.


Chelsea had raced into a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes with a strike by captain Conor Gallagher and a Palmer penalty.


Goals by Alejandro Garnacho - after a Moises Caicedo error - and Bruno Fernandes before halftime and another in the 67th minutes by Garnacho turned the tide towards United, who are chasing qualification for next season's Champions League.


But with the Blues looking beaten, Diogo Dalot brought down Noni Madueke in the box and after a nail-biting VAR check Palmer stroked home from the spot for the second time on the night to level the match at 3-3 in the 10th minute of added time.


A minute later, he blasted a shot that deflected off United midfielder Scott McTominay into the net to claim his 16th league goal of the season and send the home fans into raptures.


Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose grip on the job at Stamford Bridge has been questioned with the club stuck in mid-table, paid tribute to Palmer.


"The impact is amazing. He is doing a fantastic job, it is difficult to talk more about him. Today he showed the mentality and the quality," the Argentine told the BBC, adding he had urged Palmer on in the closing minutes.


"I said, 'Cole, two minutes more' and to believe," Pochettino said.


His opposite number at United, Erik ten Hag, lamented his side's failure to see out the win just a few days after his team conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Brentford in a 1-1 draw .


"Manchester United dominated the game but we made individual errors that cost us the game," he said. "We have to learn from it. When you are a Man Utd player you should already know how to deal with this circumstance."


The victory took Chelsea up to 10th, five points behind United with a game in hand and still hoping to snatch a Europa League spot despite their stop-start season.



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