It was a bad day for Chelsea as they were beaten 2 – 1 at home by Crystal Palace. Bakary Sako scored and provided an assist for Joel Ward as Crystal Palace recorded their first win at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era on Saturday.
Falcao scored for Chelsea but his celebration lasted for less than two minutes as every dream of a Chelsea resurgence were sniffed off with a quick-fire second for the Eagles.
Garry Cahill replaced the suspended John Terry, while Glenn Murray made way for Connor Wickham in Palace’s starting XI.
Both enjoyed an entertaining start beefed up with chances on either sides, and Pedro came closest to opening scores on 20 minutes but bent his shot just wide from 20 yards after cutting onto his left foot.
A nice move down the left orchestrated by former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha eventually fell to Yohan Cabaye in the middle of the box, only for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to stoop low and deny the French midfielder’s poor effort.
Another nice piece of goalkeeping, this time from Alex McCarthy, left scores at deadlock at the break after the Palace shot stopper pulled off a terrific double stop to deny, first Cesc Fabregas and then Pedro, before the ball was cleared to safety.
Palace started the second half on strong footing and, had Connor Wickham made proper contact with a Bakary Sako delivery, coach Alan Pardew could have had reasons to do his usual fist pumping celebration on the touchline.
Jose Mourinho’s 200th Premier League game suffered its first blip moment 5 minutes after the hour mark as Palace took the lead with Yannick Bolasie finding Sako in the middle, and the Malian attacker avoiding a challenge from Cesar Azpilicueta before slotting past Courtois.
The visitors were almost 2-0 up on 74 minutes, when Sako found Bolasie at the far post, but the latter sliced his effort wide having being subjected to pressure by Chelsea defenders. Sako then curled a long-range strike just over the bar as Chelsea continued in some woeful display.
The Blues eventually pulled back in the 79th minute, courtesy of Radamel Falcao first league strike for the champions; the Colombian heading home at the near post from Pedro’s delightful cross from the right.
Crystal Palace regained their one-goal lead immediaitely, as Sako does well to control Bolasie’s cross at the far post, hooked a cross across goal to full-back Joel Ward to fire home for the Eagles.
Chelsea piled up front for an equaliser with Falcao lurking in the box, but the striker was unable to divert his close-range effort into the back of the net in injury time.
Damien Delaney came up with a morale crushing block off Cesc Fabregas shot and in the end, it was a second home defeat in 100 league games for Chelsea.
Sharp Journal represents precision news reporting, balanced analyses, news behind the news and resources.