Chelsea beat Palace to extend winning streak

A lone Diego Costa goal was all that separated the sides in a dire encounter as Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday.

  • Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 1
  • Palace look to suffocate Blues
  • Costa opens scoring
  • Alonso hits the crossbar

Match Summary

In a match Premier League match that will certainly not be remembered as a classic, Chelsea took the lead in the 43rd minute with the first shot on target from either side.

The visitors were better after the break and looked threatening, and though they were ultimately unable to add to the scoreline, they still claimed their 11th Premier League victory on the bounce.

Full Report

It was clear from the outset that Crystal Palace would be content with a point as they set out to frustrate Chelsea's front men and largely succeeded in the opening exchanges.

There was very little action to entertain the fans until the first real chance of the game fell to Jason Puncheon a full 20 minutes into the match.

He timed his run into the box to perfection to arrive just in time to latch on to a low Wilfried Zaha cross, but flashed his first time chance across the face of goal and wide of the post.

It was another 20 minutes before either side produced anything of any note and it was once again Puncheon who was in the thick of the action. He hit a wicked free kick goalward and it snuck inches over the crossbar.

All of the hosts' good work was undone in the 43rd minute when Cesar Azpilicueta lifted a delicate ball into the box and Costa was able to outmuscle his defender to nod Chelsea into a 1-0 lead with virtually their first chance of the game.

The Eagles continued to keep it tight after the break and the visitors struggled to break their resolute defence down.

A header from @diego.costa has given us a 1-0 lead at half-time! #Chelsea #PremierLeague #CFC

A photo posted by Chelsea FC – Official (@chelseafc) on Dec 17, 2016 at 5:24am PST

Yohan Cabaye had a chance moments after the restart when he fired a powerful drive from the edge of the area, but was denied by a fine save from Thibaut Courtois.

However, Palace began to run out of steam in the second period and the Blues began knocking on the door for a second goal.

Wayne Hennessey had to be at his acrobatic best to keep his side in the game as he pulled off a string of fine saves to deny two chances from N'Golo Kante and another from Cesc Fabregas, as it seemed just a matter of time before the Premier League leaders would find another goal.

He was helpless to deny a sweetly struck Marcos Alonso free kick in the 84th minute and would've breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he saw it hammer into the crossbar and bounce away to safety.

Ultimately, despite the near constant pressure from Chelsea late on, they were unable to find a second goal, but will be content they were able to pick up their 11th consecutive Premier League win to equal the club record.