Gary Cahill Admits Returning to Stamford Bridge to Face Chelsea Was ‘Emotional & Weird’

Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill has revealed it was emotional and weird returning to Stamford Bridge to play against Chelsea, following his side’s defeat on Saturday.

The 33-year-old former captain spent seven years with the west London side between 2012 and 2019, before departing to join the Eagles on a free transfer in the summer of 2019. In his time with the Blues, he won the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League, while he also won both the Europa League and FA Cup twice.

Saturday’s early kick-off in the Premier League saw Roy Hodgson’s men travel to take on Chelsea in what was Cahill’s first appearance back at his old home.


​Frank Lampard’s men prevailed thanks to goals from Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic, but the centre-back put in a very resolute display. After the final whistle, people in all four stands within Stamford Bridge were on their feet as they applauded and sung his name, with ​Cahill responding by clapping back.

The player later revealed his emotions following the match, ​telling the BBC: “It was very strange to come back here. It was always going to be a bit emotional and a bit weird. Thank you to the fans for the reception, that was terrific. 

“To spend so much of my career and life as a footballer here, and the memories I’ve got, that’s life as a footballer, you move on…For a fan of ​Chelsea it’s so exciting for the young lads to have these opportunities.”

The defender pointed towards the form of Chelsea, who have now won six consecutive league games, but insisted his team performed well. He added: “We’ve come up against a very good team in very good form so it was difficult today [Saturday].

Gary Cahill

“We defended very well as a team in the first half. The onus is on them to be on the front foot but we soaked it up and defended well. The first goal was a blow and luck went their way.”

​Palace have made a bright start to the season, with Cahill appearing ten times in the league for the Eagles so far. 

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