Analysis

5 things that made us think after Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

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3) Ivanovic's days really may be numbered

Baba Rahman was introduced to the Stamford Bridge crowd before kick-off but not entrusted with any playing time. That surely won't be the case for much longer.

After the defeat Mourinho lamented: "I cannot say I had 11 players performing. Two or three of them, their individual performance was far from good. I blame myself for not changing one of them, because I kept him in the game for 90 minutes. When I made the third change I realised I needed a fourth."

Mourinho wouldn't reveal who that person was – sensibly, it seems, until you realise that his anonymity attracted negative attention instead of deflecting it, as fans and journalists tried to deduce the player's identity – but it is thought he was talking about Branislav Ivanovic (though Fabregas and Hazard are also candidates). 

It became increasingly apparent over the course of last season and in the early stages of this one that 31-year-old Ivanovic has developed a bad habit common to many ageing full-backs, Patrice Evra among them: getting forward but not getting back. He showed it against Swansea and he showed it against Palace. And if there's one manager who won't continue to put up a lax attitude to defence – especially from a defender – it is Mourinho.

With Rahman signed to great intrigue and Azpilicueta more than ready to move back to his natural side, the Serb could be out of the team sooner than expected.