Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday, as the Blues dug in and ground out a vital victory in a London derby.
The Blues went ahead through Oscar’s lovely free kick but then the red mist descended in South London as Cesar Azpilicueta and Damien Delaney were then both send off in the first half.
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Chelsea sealed the win with a sexy goal from Cesc Fabregas, his first for Chelsea, before Palace pulled a goal back late on through Fraizer Campbell. Chelsea stay top with seven wins from eight games, while Palace are 16th are two-straight defeats.
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Early on the Eagles threatened through Frazier Campbell but Thibaut Courtois raced off his line to shut down the angle and Palace squandered a good chance to take the lead. Chelsea did no such thing after six minutes, as Oscar curled in an unstoppable free kick to make it 1-0 to the Blues with a piece of samba magic from the Brazilian.
Just before half time Chelsea were reduced to 10-men as Azpilicueta was given a straight red card after a horror challenge on Mile Jedinak. Moments later Delaney was then also sent off, after a second yellow card in the space of a few minutes for the Palace defender made it 10 vs. 10 as half time arrived.
After the break Chelsea stepped things up a notch and Fabregas scored a fine goal after playing two consecutive one-two’s before slotting home to put the Blues 2-0 up.
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The rest of the game played out with Chelsea popping the ball around as they forced Palace to chase the match with Oscar going close to extending their lead.
Palace got a consolation in stoppage time as Wilfried Zaha showed some silky skills down the right and played in Campbell to tap home from close range.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward, Bolasie, Jedinak, McArthur (Guédioura, 69), Ledley (Mariappa, 58), Puncheon (Zaha, 69′), Campbell.
Goal: Campbell (90)
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian (Filipe Luis, 42), Oscar, Hazard (Salah, 86); Remy (Drogba, 91)
Goals: Oscar (6), Fabregas (50)