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14 December 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 41608
Fernando Torres 16'
M. Chamakh 29'
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME! Chelsea pick up three points thanks to a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. They remain in the fight for the title, but they were lucky to acquire the win today. Palace put in an excellent display and arguably had the better chances. Pulis will be delighted with his team's performance, but Chelsea take all the points. Thanks for joining me today, I hope you have enjoyed the action.
90' + 4'
Chelsea are nearly there, but Mourinho won't be pleased with their display.
90' + 1'
Luiz steps up to take the free-kick with the home fans would of expectation. However, he puts the ball straight into the wall.
90' + 1'
The officials announce there will be four minutes of added time.
Free-kick for Chelsea on the edge of the Palace area as Jerome catches Hazard.
Delaney goes close for the fourth time as he comes to the near post and knocks a glancing header towards the top-far corner, but it goes just wide.
Integral double save by Speroni! Ramires slipped Schurrle into the area and the German hit his shot into the goalkeeper's face. Ba looks to pounce on the rebound, but Speroni saves that as well!
Chamakh is replaced by Gayle following a very good display.
What a chance for Chelsea! A ricochet plays Ramires in on goal and when he tries to square the ball to Oscar, Speroni gets down and intercepts. Huge opportunity.
And another as Demba Ba comes on for the scorer of the match's first goal; Fernando Torres.
Change for Chelsea now as Schurrle replaces Willian.
Palace really look the more likely to score here at the moment. Chelsea are particularly struggling in the middle.
Delaney goes close again! He charges to meet the corner at the front post and he glances the ball into the sidenetting.
Huge chance for Palace! Jerome does well down the left and cuts a pass back into the danger area. O'Keefe gets a shot away, which Cech saves brilliantly and then the midfielders sees another effort cleared off the line by Terry! They now have a corner!
Oscar spurns an incredible chance as the ball drops to him in the area, but the Brazilian's low shot is kept out by Speroni. The officials spare his blushes by flagging Torres offside in the build-up.
Palace are giving this their all and an equaliser would not be a massive shock considering their performance thus far. Chelsea have been very lacklustre.
Good chance again for Palace. The free-kick is curled in from the left and for the second time Delaney rises to meet it with his head. This time, however, he heads over.
Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic is the latest to pick up a yellow card. He makes a stupid tackle on Chamakh and when it looks like he is going to escape a caution, he talks his way into the referee's book.
Magnificent play by O'Keefe as he intercepts, beats Essien and then plays an excellent lofted pass over the top for Jerome. He gets on the end of it, but after holding off Luiz he produces an awful attempted pass. The sooner Pulis gets him off, the better.
Another decent chance for Palace. Puncheon crosses from the left and the unmarked Bolasie heads over from a good position. That was a waste.
Juan Mata goes off to a good reception, with Oscar replacing him. The Spaniard doesn't look impressed, while there is no handshake with his manager.
Chelsea penalty claims are turned down by the referee as Ivanovic takes a hefty challenge from Delaney, but the defender appeared to win the ball.
Chelsea look to make the most of a counterattack as Hazard releases Torres behind the Palace defence, but Mariappa covers well.
Free-kick and a yellow for Essien. The Ghanaian won the ball, but in doing so he produced a rather heavy two-footed tackle. Good position for a Palace set-piece.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Big chance for Palace! The free-kick was fired in from the left flank and Delaney headed it at goal, but Cech got behind it to keep it out.
Palace get the ball back and are straight on the counterattack. Jerome slides a pass to the right for Puncheon. He cuts inside Azpilicueta and then turns him inside-out by going down the outside again. His right-footed shot is palmed away by Cech, however.
Promising move for the hosts. Torres releases Willian with a delightful first-time flick down the right. The Brazilian drives into the area and crosses. Hazard collects before cutting back to Ramires, but Palace get bodies in the way.
Decent chance for Palace as the feisty O'Keefe tackles Essien and knocks it on quickly to Jerome. The forward looks impatient as he gets it and shoots well over from about 25 yards.
There is Palace's second change. Bolasie replaces Bannan, who does not look very impressed. The winger will offer a good outlet out wide.
Willian is the latest to cause trouble down the left. Again he pulls the ball back to Mata, but the Spaniard hits the ball with his right foot first before sending it well over with his left.
Well-worked move by Chelsea as Hazard's quick feet create space in the left side of the area. He flicks the ball to Willian, who in turn knocks it back to Mata, but the eventual shot is deflected and Speroni saves.
Good play by Torres as he attacks down the right, beats Ward and crosses to the far post. His delivery is a little heavy, however, and Hazard must retrieve it on the left.
The match is back underway for the second half as Chelsea start the action.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME! Chelsea take a 2-1 lead into the break after Chamakh brought the visitors level for a brief moment. The hosts generally deserve to be winning, but they have hardly been particularly impressive.
The corner comes to nothing as Palace defend it relatively well and get it clear.
Azpilicueta roams down the left and crosses. Torres attempts a flick, but the ball ends up with the left-back again. He crosses for a second time, but Ward knocks it behind for a corner.
Yellow Card Marouane Chamakh
Yellow card for Chamakh as he produces a wild lunge on Essien.
Poor play by Mariappa as he tries shield the ball out of play, but Hazard steals it from him. The Belgian runs across the byline and passes back to Willian, but his shot is deflected into the clutches of Speroni.
Palace are doing their best to put Chelsea under some pressure in order to equalise again before half-time, but their attackers are looking rather isolated.
Assist Eden Hazard
GOAL!!! Chelsea retake the lead! Hazard attacks the area from the left and although he initially looks to find space for a shot, he patiently bides his time and cuts as pass back to Ramires to rifles a powerful shot past Speroni.
Nice football by Palace as they steal it from Chelsea and string a good move together. Chamakh picks out a good pass to Jerome, but the Englishman gives possession back to the hosts too easily.
Excellent battling by O'Keefe in the middle. Hazard partially holds him off, but the ball ends up coming loose and he puts in a brilliantly-tough tackle on Essien.
Chamakh has looked like a changed man in the last few weeks, particularly since Pulis arrived at the club.
Assist Joel Ward
Goal Marouane Chamakh
GOAL!!! Crystal Palace equalise at Stamford Bridge! Finally they got good numbers forward and they reap the rewards! Ward did well to get down the left and he played a good low cross into the centre. Chamakh ran towards the ball and guided it into the far side of the goal. Lovely finish!
And there is Palace's first shot at goal. Jerome is invited forward and he jinks on to his right foot and fires from distance, but it is easy for Cech to deal with.
Good effort by Essien. He receives a cut-back pass from the left, takes a touch and fires towards the bottom-left corner of the goal 25 yards out, but his strike goes just wide.
Here comes the match's first change as the injured Dikgacoi limps off and is replaced by O'Keefe.
Very little genuine football being played here at the moment. Ivanovic is the latest to hoof a long ball up from the defence and it sails all the way through to Speroni.
Essien, who has not impressed upon his return from Real Madrid, gets the ball in the centre again and looks to spread the play out to Mata on the right. His pass flies aimlessly out of play, however.
Big chance for Ivanovic! Like Torres before him, he surged into the right side of the box, but instead of wasting the chance he opted to shoot and narrowly missed the bottom-far corner.
More promising play by Torres as he bursts into the area with Ward at sea. The Spaniard tries to cut back inside a defender, but he is dispossessed.
Palace look short of ideas and they have already resorted to smashing the ball up towards Jerome. He won't be getting much change out of Terry, though, you'd have to assume.
Torres did well to gamble and anticipate the ball coming back off the post. He made the most of the chance and Chelsea can relax a little once again.
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL!!! Chelsea make the breakthrough! Willian does brilliantly to make the most of space by firing a long-range shot against the post and Torres is on hand to knock the rebound past Speroni.
Speroni makes the match's first save as Ramires goes for goal from 25 yards, but a deflection takes the sting out of it and the goalkeeper collects easily.
Chelsea keep trying their luck through the centre, but Palace are doing a good job to crowd that area with their own players. The hosts would be better served looking to get down the flanks.
Slack play from Chelsea as Willian cuts in from the left and plays the ball into a central position for Ramires. The midfielder completely misses his control and Palace win possession back.
Torres does his best to bring down a long ball from the defence. He makes a bit of a mess of it, but he does win a free-kick from Dikgacoi.
There has been very little pattern or flow to this match so far. One would have to think that it is only a matter of time before Chelsea assert some control, however.
The visitors threaten again as Azpilicueta gives the ball away. Jerome marches through towards the Chelsea area and knocks the ball through Luiz's legs, but Terry covers well to make an important stop.
Fairly encouraging start by Palace as they put Chelsea under some early pressure.
Right, Palace get the action started at Stamford Bridge.
Tony Pulis's heaviest defeat in the Premier League came against Chelsea in 2010, when his Stoke City side lost 7-0.
Mourinho's team have won seven and lost none of their previous 11 league meetings with their London rivals. Can Palace finally end that run today?
Crystal Palace go into the match on the back of four clean sheets in their last five Premier League matches, but the omens favour Chelsea today.
And the Crystal Palace side is: Speroni; Mariappa, Delaney, Gabbidon, Ward; Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Bannan; Puncheon, Chamakh, Jerome. SUBS: Price, Parr, O'Keefe, Williams, Gayle, Kebe, Bolasie.
Jose Mourinho's first-team selection is: Cech; Ivanovic, D Luiz, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Essien; Willian, Mata, Hazard; Torres.SUBS: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Oscar, Schurrle, Ba, Eto’o
Hello and welcome to the live text commentary of the Premier League meeting between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action for you today.
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