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October 28 2020 11.34pm

Palace get the Blues

May 3 2015

Mutch: Returned to the side, after injury.

Mutch: Returned to the side, after injury.

A Eden Hazard goal for Chelsea resulted in a third straight defeat for Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace.

Pardew started with no recognisable striker in the starting lineup, with Glenn Murray dropped to the bench, and there were starting places for Adrian Mariappa, Joe Ledley and Jordon Mutch.

Chelsea had to wait until the 24th minute for their first shot on target.

The Eagles pushed out for offside from a free-kick and after Julian Speroni's fist clear spun short, the Palace number one needed to save from Nemanja Matic at his near post.

A few minutes later Jason Puncheon fouled Cesc Fabregas on the edge of the box, and the resulting free kick from Didier Drogba stung the palms of Julian Speroni, and the Palace number one managed to claw the chance away from John Terry who was lurking in the box.

The Eagles went close to scoring shortly before half time, when Wilfried Zaha, who was causing Chelsea no end of problems in the first half, crossed the ball to Jason Puncheon, and his left footed strike was blocked by Terry's out stretched hand. Referee Kevin Friend didn't see the incident and waved away protests from the Palace players.

Palace looked to be going into the half time break with the score at 0-0, but then Hazard found his way into the Palace box, squeezing through a gap between Mariappa and James McArthur, and went down to earn his team a penalty.

Hazard stepped up to take the penalty but it was easily blocked by Speroni, however the ball deflected up into the path of the Chelsea man who headed the ball into the net.

The second half was a bit of a non-event as Chelsea protected their lead, which they knew would result in winning the Premier League title.

Puncheon had a low volley which narrowly went wide and Branislav Ivanovic shooted well wide for the home side.

Pardew reverted to a 4-4-2, bringing on Murray and Yaya Sanogo, but the Eagles' last chance came to Zaha who had a half chance at the far post, after Sanogo flicked on a Bolasie cross from the left.

Chelsea were celebrating their win at the final whistle as they knew they couldn't be caught anymore in the title race, but for Pardew's men a home tie against Manchester United is next.

Palace: Speroni, Mariappa (Kelly, 60), Dann, Delaney, Ward, Puncheon (Sanogo, 71), McArthur, Ledley, Zaha, Mutch (Murray, 61), Bolasie

Subs not used: Hangeland, Hennessey, Jedinak, Lee Chung-yong

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