Match Analysis: Crystal Palace 1-2 Chelsea

Sports Mole casts a closer eye over Chelsea's 2-1 victory away at Crystal Palace in which both sides were reduced to 10 men.

Chelsea recorded a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace this afternoon to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to five points.

Oscar broke the deadlock early on, before Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta and Palace defender Damien Delaney were red carded in separate incidents before the break.

Cesc Fabregas then went on to double the away side's advantage and, while Fraizer Campbell reduced the arrears in the 90th minute, Chelsea held out to claim all three points.

Here, Sports Mole has looked back over the contest to determine if the away side were worthy victors.

Match statistics

Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 28%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 13

Shots: 14
On target: 5
Possession: 72%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 7

Was the result fair?

When both sides had a full complement of players, it was a fairly even contest. However, as soon as the red cards were produced, Chelsea were much the better of the two teams. As the statistics above highlight, they were dominant in possession and could have added a further goal or two. Palace worked hard and should be credited for not allowing their heads to drop, but there only one team that deserved to win.

Palace's performance

For 45 minutes, Neil Warnock had every reason to be pleased with his players. They trailed to a wonder goal, but, after that, Campbell caused some problems to Gary Cahill in particular and there was plenty of reason for optimism. The red card to Delaney stopped the home side in their tracks, though.

They could not get hold of the ball for most of the second half, which meant that their midfielders were doing a lot of chasing and, understandably, tiredness set in. The introduction of Wilfried Zaha from the bench did inject some pace at least and he set up Campbell's goal late on, but it was a case of too little, too late.

Chelsea's performance

Jose Mourinho insisted that there would be no repeat of the result and performance that his side served up at Selhurst Park last season and his players did not let him down. While they were by no means at their best during the first half, they controlled the possession and went in front through a stunning effort from Oscar.

There is no better side in the Premier League at defending a lead than Chelsea. When it went to 10 vs. 10, Mourinho's men stroked the ball around the pitch with ease. It seemed at times that they were toying with the Palace players. They may have only scored twice, but Chelsea always gave the impression that if they truly needed to score another goal, they could have done. The goal that they conceded will have irked Mourinho, but all in all, it was a very positive away display from the Blues.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Cesc Fabregas: The Spaniard has been involved in most of Chelsea's impressive positive performances this season and today was no different. He constantly demanded the ball and, when he did have possession, rarely was he wasteful. The goal - his first for Chelsea in the Premier League - was one to remember as he exchanged passes with Eden Hazard and then Oscar, before showing great composure to beat Julian Speroni.

Biggest gaffe

Trailing 1-0, Palace were given a huge boost when Azpilicueta was red carded in the 40th minute. However, within three minutes, Delaney evened up the numbers when he foolishly committed his second bookable offence. He had already been rightly cautioned for a poor sliding challenge on Loic Remy when he inexplicably grabbed hold of the Chelsea striker's shirt, which left the referee with little option but to send him for an early bath. The confidence Palace would have gained from the numerical advantage evaporated instantly.

Referee performance

Craig Pawson had never previously brandished a red card in the Premier League, yet today, he dished out two. To be fair to the official, both were the correct decision. Following those dismissals, tempers threatened to boil over on occasions, but he did well to put a lid on that. The 35-year-old can be pleased with his work.

What next?

Palace: Warnock's men are on the road next Saturday afternoon when they travel to the Black Country to take on West Bromwich Albion.

Chelsea: The Blues will turn their attention to Champions League matters with the visit of NK Maribor to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. Then, next Sunday, they make the trip to Manchester United.

Share this article now:
Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar celebrates scoring the opening goal during tthe English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on October 18, 2014
Read Next:
Half-Time Report: Chelsea ahead in fiery encounter

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
FA Cup
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Scottish League One
Primeira Liga
Russian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Liga MX
Uruguayan Primera Division
Chinese Super League
Greek Superleague
Norwegian Eliteserien
Turkish Super Lig
Major League Soccer

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
1Manchester CityMan City30263185206581
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd30205558233565
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs30187559253461
8Leicester CityLeicester301010104543240
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton30810122840-1234
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3088143040-1032
14Swansea CitySwansea3087152542-1731
15Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3187162552-2731
16Crystal Palace3179153048-1830
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham3079143657-2130
19Stoke CityStoke3169162958-2927
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom31311172449-2520

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account