Palace boss refuses to criticise Hazard

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew refused to criticise Eden Hazard for winning the penalty that led to Chelsea clinching the Premier League title.

The Belgian won and then scored on the follow-up after his spot-kick was saved by keeper Julian Speroni to earn a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

But the Palace players felt Hazard went down too easily when challenged in the box by James McArthur just before the break.

“It was tight,” Pardew said. “The referee said it was a definite penalty. I thought it was questionable but they got another break when he missed it and it went straight to him.”

Pardew was quick to praise Chelsea, who won the title with three games to spare but have come in for criticism for lacking style in the last few weeks of the season.

“Sometimes flair goes out of the window to win trophies,” Pardew added.

“The are a team that can function in any scenario. That is what champions do; they don’t let you back in when they get in front. They have only had two league defeats all season.

“We gave a great account of ourselves. The players could hardly move at the end and that is a great tribute to them.”

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