Chelsea saw their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to seven points as Crystal Palace came from behind to win at Stamford Bridge. Here’s how we rated the Blues players in the 2-1 home defeat.
Thibaut Courtois: 6
Made one exceptional save to keep out Wilfried Zaha’s low strike after the interval as well as a couple of decent stops, and had little chance with either goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7
Linked up play well in attack and had one fizzing strike that went just over the bar. He was Chelsea’s best defender on a frustrating afternoon.
David Luiz: 5
The Brazilian was not convincing on numerous occasions and has to take his share of the blame for both of Palace’s goals when Chelsea’s defensive shape and discipline deserted them in a costly two-minute spell.
Gary Cahill: 6
Held his own against Christian Benteke but, like his colleagues, was troubled by the excellent Zaha throughout.
The Spaniard has fewer defensive qualities than the man he replaced, Victor Moses, and ultimately Antonio Conte’s brave attacking selection backfired. Pedro was picked out by Palace as a weak link and they often targeted his flank. He provided plenty of attacking threat but was rarely able to find the crucial pass.
N’Golo Kante: 7
One of his quieter games in terms of influencing play, but the diminutive Frenchman still covered a huge amount of ground and was quick to give the ball to his more creative colleagues.
Nemanja Matic: 6
Was unlucky not to score with a good low strike just before the break and played his part in a midfield that had more than 70 per cent possession and laid the platform for 24 attempts on goal.
Marcos Alonso: 5
Covered huge swathes of the pitch to nullify Palace’s counter-attacking threat, but was hesitant for Zaha’s equaliser – a moment which turned the game.
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Scored a fine early goal and displayed his usual quality as Chelsea probed, pressed and dominated possession. Fabregas came close to creating the equaliser but, as Palace withdrew, space was at premium and his influence waned late on.
Diego Costa: 5
Did some superb work off the ball but was wayward in front of goal, mis-kicking on a couple of occasions and wasting a glorious headed chance in the closing stages.
Eden Hazard: 7
Was particularly bright and inventive in the first half – most notably when he teed up Fabregas for the early opener. But, with Palace dropping deeper and committing fewer men forward, he was unable to affect the game as much after the break.
A willing runner and constant threat after coming on in the final 30 minutes, but despite getting into numerous excellent positions his crosses either eluded everyone or were well defended by a packed away defence.