Relegation-threatened Crystal Palace saw their troubles worsen in the first half at Stamford Bridge today as a calamitous own goal gifted Chelsea a second goal.
Palace travelled across London to take on a Chelsea side who had lost four of their last five Premier League games, and who they had beaten in their last two meetings. However, it was The Blues who got off to the best start and continuous pressure eventually paid off after twenty-five minutes.
The visitors’ defence made a big mistake in allowing Willian to break inside from the left wing and his deflected shot went past Wayne Hennessey to give Chelsea the lead.
As Palace started to try and find a way back into the game, young full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka found himself completely out of position and that allowed Chelsea to break. The defence tried to regroup, but lady luck definitely wasn’t shining on Martin Kelly.
The centre-back attempted a goal-line clearance, but he hit the ball straight at the end of his stranded goalkeeper and it bounced back against him before crossing the line.
It was a comedy of errors for the Palace pair and doubled their opponents lead in a match in which their chances of picking anything up were already slim.
It could have been even worse for Palace but James Tomkins cleared the ball off the line to prevent what looked a definite Olivier Giroud goal, after some brilliant attacking team play.
Then, within a minute after that, Eden Hazard had the ball in the back of the net but saw his goal disallowed for offside.
The Palace players looked dejected as they left the pitch at half-time, with them trailing 2-0 and Chelsea looking far superior in every department.
Patrick van Aanholt scored a consolation goal in injury time but it wasn’t enough as Chelsea took the three points, thanks in a large part to this calamity at the back.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena