Chelsea sensation Trevoh Chalobah had to be helped off his knees by his celebrating teammates after hammering in a long-range strike on his Premier League bow – and the 22-year-old has admitted it was ‘a surreal moment’.
Academy product Chalobah made a dream debut in the top flight, playing the full game on the right side of a defence that kept a clean sheet in a comfortable 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new season.
That would have been enough to represent one of the most memorable days he will have in his career before he rewarded boss Thomas Tuchel’s faith in youth with a wonderful goal in the 58th minute.
Taking control just beyond midway to the right hand side in Palace’s half, confident Chalobah took a couple of advancing touches, looked up and smashed a low shot across goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and into the far corner of the net.
‘I couldn’t believe it when the ball went in,’ the stunned newcomer confessed afterwards, speaking to BBC Sport.
‘I didn’t know what to do and I dropped to my knees. I was over the moon. I didn’t know the ball went in until the crowd cheered. It’s a surreal moment.’
Chelsea’s elated players crowded around Chalobah as he stooped on the Stamford Bridge turf where he had hoped to one day play during loan spells with French side Lorient, Huddersfield and Ipswich.
Reflecting on his eye-catching performance, he admitted: ‘I would have never dreamed of scoring.
‘Moments like this come and you just have to be patient. From the day I came in, my aim was to impress the manager, whether that’s in training or anywhere.
‘I think I’ve done that well, I got my opportunity and I’ve taken it. In this moment, I just wanted to enjoy my debut.
‘As a young boy, I’ve always dreamed to play in these games for my club so I made sure I was ready and enjoyed it. I wasn’t too nervous.’
Chalobah’s brother Nathaniel, who spent 12 years at Chelsea before joining Watford in 2017, was able to admire the action because of a sickness bug that ruled him out of the newly-promoted Hornets’ impressive 3-2 win at home to Aston Villa.
The former England international reacted on Twitter: ‘My bro makes his first start in the prem for Chelsea, he then scores in that game, then my team wins [their] first game of the season. Think it’s time to shake this sickness off. What a day.’