A disappointing week for Palace only continued as an Alvaro Morata brace condemned the eagles to a fifth defeat in six games.
The south Londoners are now without a win since late September and on paper were unlikely to see that run end at Stamford Bridge. It was Morata though who stole all the headlines with his fourth goal in his last four games. The Spaniard converted Pedro’s cross in the 32nd minute and doubled his scoring output when he fired home from a tight angle in the 65th minute. Andros Tonwsend had initially equalised shortly after the restart via a one-two with James McArthur, but Pedro sealed the Blue’s victory in the 70th minute. In the dying moments, Morata was clean through on goal and attempted to seal his hat trick in style after two predatory strikes with a lob over Wayne Hennessey that was easily saved.
Palace saw just over 25% of the ball in the match and failed to create enough clear cut opportunities to gain anything from the game. A change of formation saw them set up in more of a 4-4-2 with Wilfried Zaha upfront likely seeking to a result on the counter attack. Contrary to the norm, Palace’s stand out performers came at the head of the pitch. Andros Townsend with a goal and Wilfried Zaha with some otherwise good play gave Palace an attacking spark that has partially resurfaced in recent weeks. Palace’s poor form still finds them in 14th place on 8 points whilst Liverpool’s draw at Arsenal see’s unbeaten Chelsea move up to second on goal difference.
Arrizabalaga(7), Azpilicueta(7), Rudiger(7), David Luiz(7), Alonso(8), Kante(6), Jorginho(6), Barkley(6), Pedro(9), Morata(9), Willian(7)
Fabregas(6), Kovacic(6), Hazard(7)
Hennessey(6), Wan Bissaka(6), Tomkins(5), Sakho(5), Van Aanholt(6), McArthur(6), Kouyate(6), Milivoijevic(6), Meyer(6), Townsend(8), Zaha(7)