Crystal Palace shocked Chelsea 2-1 in their English Premier League encounter at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The win leaves the Eagles flying high in 2nd place while the champions have now won just one of their opening four fixtures. Damien Delaney, James Puncheon, Bakary Sako and substitute Yannick Bolasie caused havoc for captain of the day Branislav Ivanovic and his back line from the first to the final whistle.
The first chance fell to Ivanovic but he busted his effort over the crossbar in the fifth minute. Puncheon and Wilfried Zaha looked good each time they moved forward attacking with direction. Alan Pardew’s instructions seemed to be followed to the letter as his men dropped deep each time the Blues ventured forward. Gary Cahill managed to contain lone striker Connor Wickham as he won all the aerial duels throughout the first half.
In the 19th minute Pedro bursted into space after cutting in from the right wing. He took the ball onto his left foot but saw his effort sail high and wide from the target. In the 30th minute Yohan Cabaye fluffed the first real chance for Palace when he side footed a shot straight at Thibaut Courtois.
With the home team finding it difficult to stamp their authority on the game, the travelling fans started singing “Is this a library?” as the Bridge grew more silent as half-time approached. Pardew’s players started the second stanza sitting back, not trying to concede early in the half.
Then 10 minutes in, Sako tested Courtois with a long range effort which the keeper was alert to parry away. In the 65th minute Sako stepped into the box, took a shot which was blocked by Cahill but the midfielder pounced on the rebound to hit the roof of the net to send the away fans went into a frenzy. Five minutes later Puncheon failed to make it 2-0 after he saw his volley go wide when he could have done better.
In the 79th minute substitute Radamel Falcao equalised for José Mourinho after the Colombian met a Pedro cross at the front post. However two minutes later Joel Ward popped up in Chelsea’s box to meet Sako’s cut back to head into the net and usher in wild celebrations from the travelling sfans.
With nine minutes to play Palace held on to claim a famous three points and leave the Blues in 13th place on the early league table.