Lacklustre First Half: Why Cole Palmer screamed at Gallagher during Chelsea game against Nottingham Forest

Lacklustre First Half: Why Cole Palmer screamed at Gallagher during Chelsea game against Nottingham Forest

Cole Palmer made no attempts to hide anger with Chelsea teammate Conor Gallagher after a sloppy passage of first-half play at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest. Having taken an early lead after his pass was converted by Mykhailo Mudryk, things went downhill for Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea conceded shortly after, allowing Wily Boly a free header from less than 10 yards out, and then took their time to get back up to speed with the game. As Nuno Espirito Santo’s side chased a point that would secure their Premier League survival in front of an energetic home crowd; the Blues laboured.

Palmer summed up the frustration, taking it out on his teammate following a corner for the visitors. Taking the set piece himself on the right-hand side, Palmer hadn’t made his way back onside before Gallagher proceeded to pass a volley towards him.

The flag went up and Palmer’s frustration boiled over. He swore furiously at his captain for the day, shouting angrily towards him and appearing to ask for Gallagher to show more patience.

Palmer’s temper won’t have improved after the break either as Callum Hudson-Odoi cut inside to score a trademark goal against his former club. It looked to be a hugely ironic goal given the attention on both sides’ financial position, and also put Pochettino on the verge of surrendering the strong position Chelsea had got themselves into with regards to qualifying for the Europa League.

Unlike most of Chelsea’s play this year, the dramatic turnaround that ensued actually had very little to do with Palmer. He was able to divert a defender away from Raheem Sterling before the substitute himself cut onto his right foot to bend home an equaliser, but it was all about Reece James for the eventual winner.

Moises Caicedo pinged a delightful pass into the path of Chelsea’s skipper, making a first appearance since December 10, and James duly fired in a pinpoint cross onto the head of Nicolas Jackson to complete the comeback. The subsequent reaction from the jubilant players and travelling fans could hardly have been more different to Palmer’s earlier berating of his own player.

Even when Palmer isn’t impacting the game directly on the ball it is his movement and sheer danger that can open up defences. This won’t go down as one of his best performances but the 22-year-old still won Man of the Match and showed his importance to the side in other ways.

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