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October 1 2020 11.55pm

Palace get the blues at the Bridge

November 9 2019

Ward: Injured in the first half against the Blues

Ward: Injured in the first half against the Blues

Crystal Palace were defeated 2-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Roy Hodgson made one change to the team which lost to Leicester last week - Andros Townsend recovering from injury to replace Jeffrey Schlupp in midfield.

The home side dominated the possession in the first half, but Palace did well to keep them at bay.

19-year-old Reece James, who was making his Premier League debut for the home side, whipped in a cross which was palmed away by Vicente Guaita.

American striker Christian Pulisic was the next to test the Spanish keeper, bursting into the box, but his shot was well blocked by Guaita.

Willian had a free kick which went narrowly wide, and Luka Milivojevic provided the nearest chance for the visitors from his own free kick close to half time but his effort also went wide of the mark.

The Eagles were forced to make a change a minute before the break when Joel Ward was replaced by Martin Kelly. Ward was struggling with a knock that he picked up a few minutes earlier.

Chelsea almost grabbed the first goal in injury time when James' low cross was palmed away by Guaita, and Gary Cahill, playing against his former club, was there to block an effort from Willian.

In the second half Chelsea finally broke through the Palace defence when Tammy Abraham eluded the marking of James Tomkins, and received a pass from Willian in the box and cooly slotted the ball past Guaita to make it 1-0 to the Blues.

On 73 minutes a familiar face in the name of Michy Batshuayi was introduced by Frank Lampard, replacing the goal scorer Abraham. The Belgian was then involved in Chelsea's second goal of the game a few minutes later, when his shot was blocked but Pulisic followed up on the rebound at the far post to head past Guaita.

The Eagles really struggled to get into the game, with Chelsea so dominant - James McCarthy had a shot which was routinely saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga but apart from that it was another disappointing defeat.

Palace: Guaita, Ward (Kelly, 44), van Aanholt, Cahill, Tomkins, Kouyate (McCarthy, 82), Townsend, McArthur (Schlupp, 70), Zaha, Milivojevic, Ayew

Subs not used: Hennessey, Dann, Riedewald, Benteke

Chelsea: Kepa, Zouma, Emerson, James, Tomori, Kovacic, Willian, Kante, Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi, 80), Mount (Gilmour, 87), Abraham (Batshuayi, 73)

Subs not used: Christensen, Azpilicueta, Caballero, Giroud

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