Zaha: How Crystal Palace humbled Chelsea in 2-1defeat
Wilfried Zaha scored his first goal since May for Crystal Palace
Wilfried Zaha scored the winner as Crystal Palace stunned reigning champions Chelsea to pick up their first victory of the Premier League season.
Palace had lost all seven of their previous games – including three under new boss Roy Hodgson – and had failed to score.
They finally ended their 731 minute wait for a league goal when Yohan Cabaye forced the ball down off his chest, which bounced off David Luiz and into the back of the net off Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.
Palace’s lead lasted only eight minutes as Cesc Fabregas’ corner was headed in by Tiemoue Bakayoko.
But Zaha, on his return from injury, made it 2-1 just before the break and Hodgson’s side held on despite an onslaught from the Blues in the second half.
The win does not move Palace off the bottom of the table, but they have reduced the gap from safety to four points.
Chelsea, meanwhile, stay fourth but are now nine points behind leaders Manchester City.
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Zaha’s return inspires Palace
No points, no goals and nine conceded in their past two games. The outcome of this encounter looked bleak on paper for Palace.
But the hosts seemed rejuvenated after the international break and were inspired by the return of Zaha, who had been out of action with a knee injury since the opening day of the season.
The combination of Zaha and Andros Townsend caused problems throughout, with Townsend sending in the ball for Cabaye for the opener.
The Blues dominated possession in the second half with 60% of the ball, but they were unable to convert from the 12 shots they had.
Fabregas’ 25-yard strike hit the bar, while substitutes Pedro and Charly Musonda could not beat Julian Speroni – the 38-year-old keeper brought in to replace the injured Wayne Hennessey.