Patrice Vieira reveals why he changed from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 during clash against Chelsea

Patrick Vieira has detailed why he chose to deploy a 4-4-2 formation in Crystal Palace’s 3-0 loss against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

The Eagles, in their very first game under the Frenchman, fell to a convincing defeat at the hands of the European champions at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Trevoh Chalobah saw the Eagles brushed aside on Saturday afternoon.

The South Londoners, who played a 4-3-3 under the thee-time Premier League winner during pre-season, began the game in a 4-4-2 formation, with Wilfried Zaha playing up front alongside Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jeffrey Schlupp and Jordan Ayew as the wide support men.

Speaking on why he changed the formation ahead of today’s game, Vieira said: “Because I wanted to be really compact and to stop their holding midfielder getting on the ball – to find the players in between the lines.

“When you look at the way in which we defended before we conceded the free-kick, I was really pleased – we were really compact. I think the free-kick changed our plan.

“It wasn’t a late decision, this is how we prepared all week, and we have to take into consideration the quality of players that we are playing against. We knew that Chelsea would have the possession.”

The Eagles began to unlock some of their promising attacking verve after Vieira switched to a 3-4-3. With Joachim Andersen and Christian Benteke coming on, Palace went close through Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew but failed to find the back of the net.

“We have been working on different systems so players can adapt themselves,” said Vieira on the tweak in formation he made midway through the second half.

He added: “When Joachim and Christian came on, that gave us more experience on the field. We saw the difference when those two were on the field.”