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Rak-Sakyi: Ghana prospect’s Premier League debut ends in disappointment as Chelsea thrash Crystal Palace

12:54 PM EDT 8/14/21
Jesuran Rak-Sakyi Crystal Palace 2021-22
The 18-year-old played his first game in the English elite division as The Eagles faced The Blues away at Stamford Bridge

Crystal Palace teenager Jesurun Rak-Sakyi made his Premier League debut as The Eagles succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

A second half substitute, the English-born winger of Ghanaian descent saw 13 minutes of game time as Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Trevoh Chalobah scored to seal three points for The Blues in the season opener at Stamford bridge.

Ghanaian compatriots Jeffrey Schlupp and Jordan Ayew were also in action for Patrick Vieira's side, as were Senegal defender Cheikhou Kouyate.

With The Eagles 3-0 down, Rak-Sakyi, who was born to Ghanaian parents in England, was introduced into the game in the 77th minute, replacing Jairo Riedewald.

Alonso had opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 27th minute, bending a free-kick into the top corner.

Thirteen minutes later, Pulisic made it 2-0, pouncing on a loose ball inside the box, before Mateo Kovacic set up Chalobah to seal the 3-0 win.

Despite his day ending in defeat, Rak-Sakyi will savour his appearance in Saturday’s fixture, four months after he put pen to paper on a professional deal.

“It’s a very big moment in my life, something I have been working towards since I started playing football and I’m just happy and grateful that I’ve come this far. I just want to keep pushing on,” the 18-year-old said after signing his deal in April.

Palace U18 manager Paddy McCarthy added: “Jes is an example for the rest of the players because he’s had to work really hard to improve areas of his development and deal with disappointments of not being in the team.

“He’s knuckled down and seen the fruits of his labour and I think that’s an example to all the young players we have here. Now, Jes has to maintain that and keep focused.”

Elsewhere in Saturday’s match, both Schlupp and Ayew, two players who could transcend from being Rak-Sakyi’s club mates to international teammates, started in the game, the latter lasting the entire duration.

Schlupp, on the other hand, was replaced by Joachim Andersen in the 57th minute.