N’Golo Kante’s second-half objective gave Chelsea a 1-Zero win in a colorless match at Crystal Palace and took them to inside some extent of third-placed Manchester Metropolis forward of Metropolis’s recreation at Southampton.
Maurizio Sarri’s facet dominated possession within the early phases however have been unable to get by Palace’s well-organised defence, Marcos Alonso booked for throwing the ball away in frustration after failing to maintain it in play.
The Eagles posed their first glimmer of a menace after 11 minutes when Wilfried Zaha went down below Antonio Rudiger’s problem, however muted appeals for a penalty have been waved away.
On the different finish, Rudiger met a Willian cross with a flicked header however couldn’t generate sufficient energy to hassle goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Again got here Palace, and Jorginho closed down Andros Townsend as he minimize in from the wing, the hosts countering to arrange a taking pictures likelihood for Kante, whose effort flew vast.
Olivier Giroud fired house an angled half-volley solely to be annoyed by an offside flag, and because the half-hour approached Palace scrambled clear when Eden Hazard’s strike nearly discovered its approach by to Giroud.
Jorginho blasted vast as Chelsea pressed once more, and Sarri’s facet gained a free kick 25 yards out after a foul on Hazard, Willian’s effort hitting the surface of the put up.
Moments later, Willian compelled an excellent low save from Guaita with a pointy strike after which Ross Barkley clipped the put up with an acrobatic try from six yards as the primary half ended goalless.
Chelsea wanted solely six minutes of the second interval to make the breakthrough, David Luiz lofting a fantastic go over the Palace defence for Kante to manage and fireplace low previous Guaita, who bought a hand to the ball however couldn’t preserve it out.
Palace, who provided little in assault all through, tried to discover a approach again however nearly conceded a second when James McArthur bought the ball away after it had deflected again in direction of Giroud.
Because the guests continued to dominate, Cesar Azpilicueta was poised to seek out Giroud just for Jeffrey Schlupp to intercept, and Willian was denied by a Guaita save earlier than Barkley’s drive was deflected vast.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson changed Schlupp with Connor Wickham earlier than Cheikhou Kouyate went into the guide for a foul on Hazard and Giroud was denied a objective by an offside flag for the second time and was then changed by Alvaro Morata after taking a knock on the ankle.
Hodgson made a second swap inside the ultimate quarter of an hour as Max Meyer changed Kouyate, however Palace continued to wrestle to muster something in the best way of great menace.
Sarri changed Willian with Emerson and Barkley with Mateo Kovacic as Chelsea noticed out the remaining minutes comfortably, Zaha and Wickham taking pictures over because the Eagles stayed 5 factors away from the relegation zone.