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Chel-Shocked!

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This wasn’t part of the script. A London derby of inconsequential value. Chelsea were expected to brush-aside and roll-over Crystal Palace with ease. It was a done deal! It was just a matter of how many times the Eagles would pick the ball from their own net. The Palace ‘Jesters’, coming into this game, have been woeful, dispirited and nauseating, to say the least. Seven games played; no point; no goal. Crystal pathetic! Another routine loss in the offing.

Palace were boosted by the return of Wilfred Zaha — who was massive all day. The forward made a dummy out of Gary Cahill early on, and the Blues had Thibaut Courtois to thank for his heroics. However, it took just 11 minutes for the Eagles to end their long search for a goal in the EPL this season. James McAthur slipped a pass to Andros Townsend. The Englishman’s cross ricocheted off Yohan Cabaye and Cesar Azpilicueta into Chelsea’s net. Courtois helpless! An own goal, but Palace didn’t care. Selhurst Park was in delirium. Even Roy Hodgson managed a subtle smile — the first in a month of Sundays.

Tiemoue Bakayoko scored his first goal for Chelsea in the 18th minute off a spectacular corner from Cesc Fabregas. The Frenchman towering high to head home. With just seconds to the end of the first 45, Zaha zapped the Bridge boys. Mamadou Sakho drilled through Chelsea’s portion of the pitch like screw through butter, sent a pass to Zaha who crowned his efforts with a sublime goal. Courtois beaten for the second time.

The second 45 minutes kicked off with the visitors dominating and asking all the questions. Marcos Alonso had a chance to restore Chelsea’s pride in the 62nd minute. Pedro’s effort was well-dealt with by Julian Speroni.

The Eagles should have put the game to bed late in the game. Courtois spilled Townsend’s shot, but Patrick van Aanholt failed to hit target with the goal gaping.

Chelsea continued their search for a face-saving goal, but Hodgson and his troops held on for their first 3 points in 3 months.

Chelsea have lost three games already this season. Back-to-back loses to Manchester City (before the international break) and Crystal Palace. Not championship stuff.

Methinks the title defense is all but over! How the cookie crumbles. London bridge is indeed falling down!

 

Crystal Palace Vs Chelsea (3:00pm) : Saturday, October 14, 2017

By Uche Atuma

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