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Eagles left feeling Blue

January 3 2016

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew

Crystal Palace suffered the heaviest league defeat of Alan Pardew's reign with a 3-0 loss at home to Chelsea.

The Premier League champions produced their best performance of the season to inflict a deserved win over a Palace side missing key players.

With Yohan Bolasie suspended and Yannick Bolasie, Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako injured or not fully fit, the Eagles lacked any firepower.

They started brightly in the torrid, rainy conditions as Wilfried Zaha fizzed a shot wide and a sliding Fraizer Campbell failed to meet Jason Puncheon's cross from the left.

Despite Eden Hazard hobbling off injured, Chelsea went ahead in the 28th minute through Brazilian international Oscar. Diego Costa was sent clear on goal from Cesc Fabregas's slide-rule pass after Damien Delaney slid in and missed the interception and he cut back for Oscar to poke home.

Wayne Hennessey thwarted Cesar Azpilicueta's half-volley as the Blues ended the first period on a high.

After the break, defender Kurt Zouma headed over the bar, while for Palace, Zaha scuffed a decent opportunity on goal.

However, Willian put the game beyond Palace's reach on the hour-mark with a 25-yard thunderbolt into the roof of the net that gave Hennessey no chance of saving.

Costa added another for 3-0 on 66 minutes after Willian's shot was parried by Hennessey into his path to score easily and seal a convincing win.

Alan Pardew said: "It is one of those games where we just wipe our nose and move onto the next game. We were not at our strongest today, we were missing key players and could not play our natural game.

"We will be looking at the market in case something comes through. It is important we kick into gear in the second-half of the season.

"Things did not go our way today and we have to respond and I have every confidence in this group that we will be in and around the top 10."

Guus Hiddink said: "Do not go over the top it is the first win after a worrying period with two draws so the team desperately needed the win and it was convincing,

"Everyone knows we have a lot of quality in our team, but sometimes champions have a tendency to be complacent and it can be difficult to get back and then wonder why we were champions."

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