Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace: Title race back on?

0 Comments
  • Chelsea’s first defeat since Jan. 4
  • Palace win fourth-straight game
  • Eagles fight back after going behind
  • Man City up next for Chelsea

Chelsea suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday at Stamford Bridge as the Premier League leaders have seen their gap at the top reduced to seven points.

Cesc Fabregas put Chelsea ahead but two quickfire goals from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke put Palace 2-1 up and then a valiant defensive effort, led by Mamadou Sakho and Wayne Hennessey, saw the Eagles seal a fourth-straight win.

Chelsea stay top but they remain on 69 points after their run of 10-straight home wins ended, while Palace move on to 31 points and pull away from the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Chelsea took the lead early on Fabregas pinged a ball out to Hazard and the Belgian took his time before picking out Fabregas to finish. 1-0. Too easy for the Blues.

Just when Chelsea thought they’d run away with another win the Eagles came soaring back with Zaha twisting and turning then drilling a low shot into the bottom corner. 1-1. Game on.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Moments later Palace were ahead and Stamford Bridge was stunned. Zaha and Benteke link up to launch a counter and the latter then audaciously scooped his effort over Courtois and into the net. 2-1 to Palace.

Chelsea then had a penalty shout waved away as Pedro‘s effort looked to strike Andros Townsend‘s arm and then Hazard and Fabregas combined to tee up Costa but Wayne Hennessey saved well.

Marcos Alonso went close to equalizing but Hennessey saved well before the break as wave after wave of Chelsea attack came up short with Hazard also denied and Nemanja Matic going close.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Chelsea came out swinging again with Costa involved in plenty of challenges and he almost got the Blues level as Fabregas ran into the box and set him up but Hennessey denied him once again.

Another shot from Costa was blocked bravely by Scott Dann — he only came on at half time for James Tomkins — who then fell awkwardly and had to be stretchered off with Damien Delaney on in his place.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace continued to go close on the break as Chelsea poured forward for an equalizer and Yohan Cabaye saw his free kick from the left fly inches wide.

Costa headed wide from Hazard’s cross as Chelsea grew increasingly desperate late on but Palace held on for a famous win to throw a spanner in the works of Chelsea’s title charge.