Blues march on with win at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 2

Lovely goals by Oscar and Cesc Fabregas gave leaders Chelsea victory at Selhurst Park, where both teams had a man sent off.

Oscar scored with a brilliant 30-yard free-kick after six minutes but Crystal Palace caused plenty of problems for the visitors before Cesar Azpilicueta and then Eagles defender Damien Delaney were dismissed late in the first half.

Azpilicueta was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Mile Jedinak and a couple of minutes later Delaney walked for a second bookable offence following a foul on Loic Remy.

But Fabregas restored calm with a touch of class six minutes after the interval when he finished coolly after exchanging passes with Eden Hazard and then Oscar.

Fraizer Campbell, who went close twice in the first half, pulled a goal back in the final minute.

The win continued Chelsea’s excellent start to the season and maintained their five-point lead over second-placed Manchester City.

Remy started for them in the absence of Diego Costa, who missed out because of ongoing concerns over the Spain striker’s hamstring problem.

They missed Costa’s physical presence at times but still had enough firepower to see off a Palace team that faded after Fabregas’ first Premier League goal since his summer move from Barcelona.

Chelsea, captained by John Terry for the 500th time, almost went further ahead when Hazard curled wide of the far post after collecting Nemanja Matic’s pass, while Oscar saw an effort saved by Julian Speroni.

Palace’s goal was well worked. Filipe Luis, who came on after Azpilicueta’s sending-off was beaten by Wilfried Zaha and Campbell got in front of Branislav Ivanovic to touch home the on-loan Manchester United man’s low cross.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian (Filipe Luis 41) Oscar, Hazard (Salah 85); Remy (Drogba 90).
Subs not used: Cech, Zouma, Mikel, Solanke.

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