Chelsea may have just lost out on the Premier League title, thanks to an own goal that handed all three points to Crystal Palace. Should Manchester City and Liverpool both win this weekend, the Blues will fall down to third. Palace fans, meanwhile, will rejoice at being four points into safety.
There may have been just two changes from the Chelsea side that beat Arsenal 6-0 last weekend to the one that started at Selhurst Park, but they looked miles apart.
There was very little intensity from the visitors during the first half, which began with a shot from David Luiz that went well over the goal. José Mourinho, perhaps mindful of the upcoming match against PSG, favored Frank Lampard over Oscar, but the midfield looked rather sloppy, and Palace looked the side in control.
Around the thirty-minute mark, Palace missed a great chance to take the lead, with Jason Puncheon’s cross finding Yannick Bolasie at the far post. But Bolasie failed to control the ball and wound up aiming his shot into the far netting
Soon after, the hosts had a decent shout for a penalty when Bolasie was brought down by Gary Cahill. A closer look showed referee Lee Mason likely made the right call.
Mourinho did make a change at the break, bringing on Oscar for David Luiz. But the switch didn’t have the intended effect.
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Instead, it was Crystal Palace that took the lead early in the second half. Joel Ward’s cross from the left seemed meant for Joe Ledley, but John Terry beat him to the ball. However, the Chelsea defender could do nothing except head the ball past Petr Cech.
The Blues’ response was almost immediate, with Eden Hazard registering Chelsea’s first shot on target. But Julian Speroni was there with a diving save to push the ball wide and preserve the Palace lead.
Crystal Palace weren’t about to sit back and simply play out the remaining minutes. In the 74th minute, a quick counter-attack put Cameron Jerome through on goal, but his shot struck the woodwork. Minutes later, substitute Stuart O’Keefe got on the end of a ball from Kagisho Dikgacoi, but Cech managed to tip the shot over.
In the dying minutes of the match, Fernando Torres wasted an excellent opportunity to give the Blues a share of the spoils. O’Keefe gifted the Spaniard the ball inside the area, but the Chelsea striker sent his shot well over the crossbar.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon, Ledley, Bolasie (O’Keefe 70), Jerome (Murray 88)
Goals: Terry o.g. 52′
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Luiz (Oscar 46), Matic, Lampard (Salah 57), Schurrle (Ba 70), Hazard, Torres