12112017

Palace stun Chelsea to earn first points of season

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha scored his first goal since May for Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha scored the winner as Crystal Palace stunned reigning champions Chelsea to pick up their first victory of the Premier League season.

Palace had lost all seven of their previous games – including three under new boss Roy Hodgson – and had failed to score.

They finally ended their 731 minute wait for a league goal when Yohan Cabaye forced the ball down off his chest, which bounced off David Luiz and into the back of the net off Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.

Palace’s lead lasted only eight minutes as Cesc Fabregas’ corner was headed in by Tiemoue Bakayoko.

But Zaha, on his return from injury, made it 2-1 just before the break and Hodgson’s side held on despite an onslaught from the Blues in the second half.

The win does not move Palace off the bottom of the table, but they have reduced the gap from safety to four points.

Chelsea, meanwhile, stay fourth but are now nine points behind leaders Manchester City.

Zaha’s return inspires Palace

No points, no goals and nine conceded in their past two games. The outcome of this encounter looked bleak on paper for Palace.

But the hosts seemed rejuvenated after the international break and were inspired by the return of Zaha, who had been out of action with a knee injury since the opening day of the season.

The combination of Zaha and Andros Townsend caused problems throughout, with Townsend sending in the ball for Cabaye for the opener.

The Blues dominated possession in the second half with 60% of the ball, but they were unable to convert from the 12 shots they had.

Fabregas’ 25-yard strike hit the bar, while substitutes Pedro and Charly Musonda could not beat Julian Speroni – the 38-year-old keeper brought in to replace the injured Wayne Hennessey.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Hodgson ‘delighted’ for match-winner Zaha

What went wrong for Chelsea?

The Blues looked pedestrian at times and seemed as off-colour as they had done in their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City before the international break.

The champions were without influential midfielder N’Golo Kante and striker Alvaro Morata, and also lost Victor Moses to a suspected hamstring injury in the first half.

But the front three of Michy Batshuayi, Willian and Eden Hazard failed to produce the goods, and although substitutes Pedro, Musonda and Davide Zappacosta piled on the pressure during a decent 15 minute spell in the second half, they could not find the goal they craved.

“We played this game without three important players and that’s not straightforward,” said Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. “We started very badly and it was a very difficult day. But we need also to understand the situation and to continue to work, to find solutions despite our injuries.

“They are big losses for us but we can only accept the situation and then do our best. I am not happy and my players are not happy.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chelsea’s injury problems an ’emergency’ – Conte

I’ll enjoy a glass of wine – how Hodgson reacted

Hodgson could have become only the second permanent manager to lose his first four Premier League games in charge of a side without scoring a single goal, after his predecessor Frank de Boer.

Instead, the former England manager was able to celebrate his first victory in his new job.

“That was really enjoyable,” he said after the final whistle. “I have just said to the players that they really deserve to drink in that victory, because we played the champions of England but came off the field today having deserved our victory.

“In the past month we’ve taken some heavy defeats but even then there were moments that weren’t as bleak as maybe the scoreline looked.

“I don’t drink an awful lot these days. Red wine isn’t the best thing to drink if you want to keep your calories low, but I’ll enjoy a glass tonight because I enjoyed watching my boys play well and I’m proud of their performance.”

Man of the match – Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha<!–

Andros Townsend certainly impressed, but the man of the match had to be Zaha on his return. He had three shots in total, two on target, and caused Chelsea problems throughout

Hodgson matches Allardyce’s achievements – the stats

  • Roy Hodgson is one of two managers to win against Chelsea with four different Premier League clubs (Blackburn, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, West Brom) – the other being Sam Allardyce, who also managed England.
  • Palace’s 11th-minute goal meant that they ended a run of 640 minutes without scoring from the start of the season. In Football League history, only Halifax Town in the fourth tier in 1990-91 (730 minutes) had a longer wait to score.
  • Chelsea have lost consecutive Premier League games under Antonio Conte for just the second time.
  • This is just the sixth time that the team starting the day bottom of the Premier League have beaten the reigning Champions.

What’s next?

Chelsea are in Champions League action against Roma on Wednesday (19:45 BST) and welcome Watford in the Premier League next Saturday (12:30 BST).

Crystal Palace travel to Newcastle on Saturday (15:00 BST).

Live Text

Match ends, Crystal Palace 2, Chelsea 1.

Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 2, Chelsea 1.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

Foul by Charly Musonda (Chelsea).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Charly Musonda (Chelsea).

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

Attempt missed. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left.

Offside, Crystal Palace. Andros Townsend tries a through ball, but Wilfried Zaha is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt saved. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jairo Riedewald replaces Yohan Cabaye.

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Timothy Fosu-Mensah replaces James McArthur.

Foul by Charly Musonda (Chelsea).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Pedro (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Dann (Crystal Palace).

Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

Foul by Pedro (Chelsea).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Charly Musonda (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tiemoué Bakayoko.

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon replaces Jeffrey Schlupp.

Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Attempt saved. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a cross.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Yohan Cabaye.

Attempt blocked. Tiemoué Bakayoko (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by César Azpilicueta.

Attempt missed. Charly Musonda (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a through ball.

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).

Attempt saved. Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a cross.

What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.