- 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.
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.
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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.