Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira let out a smile after witnessing Joao Felix's red card on his Chelsea debut, Vieira's former team-mate Ian Wright has revealed.
Vieira's Crystal Palace team are due to face Chelsea on Sunday as they seek revenge for a last-gasp defeat in October. However, Graham Potter's team will go into the game without the man they signed on loan from Atletico Madrid at considerable cost.
Felix looked lively in the first half as the Blues lost to Fulham on Thursday, but was shown a straight red for a dangerous challenge on Kenny Tete. Wright and Vieira were watching the game together, and the former Arsenal and Palace striker has spoken about his friend's response.
"I’ve got to tell you last night I was at Patrick Vieira’s," Wright said on Wrighty's House (via Metro ). "Me and Patrick were watching the game together.
"Joao Felix we were waxing about how well he’s playing in his first game. And when he got sent-off, Patrick just got up and went to the kitchen. Patrick just got up and smiled at me and went to the kitchen."
Chelsea were level at 1-1 when Felix was shown his marching orders, but went on to concede a winner as Carlos Vinicius beat Kepa Arrizabalaga. The defeat was their fifth in the last seven league games, and leaves them just three points above Palace ahead of Sunday's game.
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""It was a forward's tackle," Chelsea manager Potter told BT Sport after the dismissal. "There was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red.
"It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment. He was really good you could see his quality in the game, so it is doubly disappointing for us.
"[The red card] makes it a little more difficult for us, I thought the application when we went down to 10 was really good.
"Disappointed with the goal because I think we could do better and that is what cost us. We have got to keep working there is no other solutions, you have to keep working stay together and try to get the three points."
Palace took an early lead in the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park, which was Potter's first Premier League game as Chelsea manager. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised on his league debut for the club and Conor Gallagher - who spent last season on loan at Palace - came off the bench to score a late winner.
While Joao Felix will not be available on Sunday, two of Chelsea's other new additions could feature. Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana were both unused substitutes against Fulham but are in contention for minutes at Stamford Bridge.