the season continued after they
suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to
Crystal Palace with Joel Ward
scoring the winner nine minutes
from time at Stamford Bridge.
The duo of Nigeria’s Super
Eagles players, John Mikel
Obi and Victor Moses were
conspicuously missing in
Chelsea’s line up as Bakary
Sako gave Palace the lead in
the second half before Radamel
Falcao equalised 11 minutes
from time for his first goal for
the Blues. But Ward had the last
say with a header to condemn
the champions to their third
defeat in the past five matches.
Without missing words, it
was a well deserved victory
for the Crystal Palace after an
impressive display. They should
have taken the lead in the first
half through Yohann Cabaye
but the Frenchman’s tame effort
from 10 yards was saved by
Thibaut Courtois with the goal
at his mercy.
The Eagles, as Palace are
known, led when substitute
Yannick Bolasie’s low cross
found Sako, whose first
effort was blocked by Cesar
Azpilcueta but he managed to
slam in the rebound.
Falcao thought he had
salvaged a point for the home
side with a diving header from
Pedro’s cross but that was short
lived as Ward headed in Sako’s
cross to clinch a dramatic
victory and go second in the
Zouma had a penalty appeal
turned down when it appeared
his shirt had been pulled as he
leapt for a corner but Palace
reminded their hosts that they
posed a danger, when Courtois
had to save with his legs from a
fierce shot by Sako.
Something between lethargy
and sterility is still dogging
Chelsea’s play this season,
though, and it was Palace who
fashioned the best chance of
the half when Zaha turned
beautifully past Matic and
rolled the ball into the path of
Cabaye should have scored
but he shot too close to Courtois
and tamely. It was a simple save
for the Belgian keeper and a let
off for Mourinho and his team
who were still struggling to hit
their stride.
They finally posed a threat of
their own a few minutes before
half time when Costa lashed
in a cross shot that McCarthy
could only push back out into
the heart of the box. Fabregas
was waiting to meet it and
struck the follow-up cleanly
but McCarthy was equal to it.
He scrambled across his goal
and blocked the ball with his
right hand before it was hacked
away to safety

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