Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea: Blues win 11th straight thanks to Costa

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  • Chelsea win 11th straight game
  • Costa scores 13th PL goal of season
  • Blues go nine points clear at top

Chelsea equaled a club record of 11-straight Premier League wins, with Antonio Conte‘s side beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday in the south London fog.

Diego Costa grabbed the only goal of the game in the London derby, with the Spanish international heading home just before half time.

With the win Chelsea extend their lead at the top momentarily to nine points, while Palace remain on 15 points and embroiled in a relegation battle.

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Palace started brightly enough and a ball in from Martin Kelly on the right found Jason Puncheon but he scuffed his effort wide. The first half saw few clear cut chances with Marcos Alonso striding free but Jason Puncheon cut out his through ball to Willian at the key moment.

Costa was then booked for dissent, his fifth yellow card of the season, which means he will miss the Boxing Day game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Puncheon whipped a free kick over the bar as Palace tried to thwart the threat of Chelsea’s counter attacks but right on half time they fell behind. Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross from the right was headed home brilliantly by Costa as he scored his 13th PL goal of the season to put the Blues 1-0 up at the break.

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At the start of the second half a long ball forward caused problems as Wilfried Zaha chased it down and Yohan Cabaye smashed the loose ball on goal but Thibaut Courtois saved. At the other end N'Golo Kante hammered an effort on goal which Wayne Hennessey saved.

Kante was then booked by referee Jon Moss after plenty of fouls which was also his fifth booking of the season and that means he’ll miss the Boxing Day game alongside Costa. After a turn and shot from Moses was blocked, Chelsea then brought on Cesc Fabregas to try and see out the win.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Alonso drilled a volley into the side-netting as the Blues continued to look dangerous on the break with Eden Hazard setting up Fabregas but his weak shot was saved by Hennessey. Chelsea looked the more likely to score late on as a flowing counter attack ended up with Kante drilling in a low shot that Hennessey saved well and Palace’s goalkeeper palmed away Alonso’s drive soon after. The Spanish left back then curled a magnificent free kick against the crossbar which beat Hennesey all ends up.

Palace didn’t come close to grabbing an equalizer as Chelsea kept a ninth clean sheet in their last 11 games to continue their dominance.

Coutinho rocket helps LFC to PL Asia Trophy (video)

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Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho helped Liverpool come back from an early deficit to win the PL Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong.

Islam Slimani gave Leicester City an early lead in front of a heavy pro-Liverpool crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, but Coutinho delivered the goods on both goals in a 2-1 win.

The tournament win is Liverpool’s first in its second trip to the PL Asia Trophy Final.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

First he crossed for Salah to head home, and then he scored the above goal by cutting in from the left and lashing a shot past a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.

We’ve seen this one before from Coutinho, just not on this particular continent. The Brazilian remains a Barcelona target, but looks prepared for the season in whatever land he sets foot.

Transfer rumor roundup: Latest on Alexis, Neymar to PSG; Van Dijk

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Neymar and Alexis Sanchez to Paris? Brazil and Chile’s finest living as one? Reunited and it feels so French?

The latter’s talents will see Arsenal’s resolve tested by a $46 million bid, according to Sky Sports, though Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been adamant that Sanchez will not be sold this summer.

Reports circled last year that Arsenal was prepared to offer Sanchez and Mesut Ozil record deals to stay at the club, though PSG has reportedly met with Sanchez and his agent with ideas of incredible $650,000 per week wages at the Parc des Princes.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

A source also told Sky Sports that it would take “a miracle” for Neymar to remain at Barcelona, so that Sanchez/Edinson Cavani/Neymar trident could be coming to a theater near you.


Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino is hopeful of convincing Virgil Van Dijk to stay at St. Mary’s, but for now he’s been forced to ask the defender to take time away from the club.

Van Dijk, hopeful to engineer a move to a UEFA Champions League club, has not been in the preferred mental state for Pellegrino.

“When I was talking with him, the boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. I need to work with a player that works at 100 percent to defend Southampton. This is the decision. I had to say: ‘OK, if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK, you have to train alone until this period of time.'”

Liverpool publicly ended their interest in Van Dijk following Southampton complaints, and the club maintains it will not sell the influential center back.


West Ham’s loan move for Joe Hart could see both of its 2016-17 goalkeepers leaving the London Stadium. Multiple reports say Darren Randolph could be off to Middlesbrough, with Adrian also heading to the Northeast to play for countryman Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.

Must watch Milivojevic free kick leads Palace past WBA (video)

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Goals from Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako led Crystal Palace to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the third place game of the PL Asia Trophy.

Palace had lost 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal, while West Brom fell to Leicester City in penalty kicks after trading goals over 90 minutes.

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Milivojevic’s free kick, won by Wilfried Zaha, was super. Whipped in with force and a wicked curl, Baggies keeper Ben Foster didn’t have a chance to reach it with his dive.

Sako created his goal with a darting move off a long dribble, though it needed a pair of deflections to get behind Foster.

The Baggies had their chances, and Julian Speroni made an outstanding save on Matty Phillips late in the match.

STREAM LIVE: Liverpool-Leicester duel for PL Asia Trophy

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Goals from Bakary Sako and Luka Milivojevic spearheaded Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the PL Asia Trophy third place game, and now Liverpool and Leicester City tangle for the title.

The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a 2-0 semifinal win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.

[ LIVE: Stream PL Asia Trophy here ]  

West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.

Here are the lineups for Leicester City and Liverpool: