Just like the first weekend of the Premier League race, if there was one result everybody expected, it was for Chelsea to win against Burnley. Everybody was confident Chelsea would blow away the Crystal Palace side who had lost 7 games on the trot without scoring a goal.
Palace went on to put in a display that shocked the English champions and ended up not only with two well-deserved goals but with all 3 points against the Blues. Little did people expect that the return of a certain Wilfred Zaha would change the team from bottom dwellers to a side that outplayed the Champions in every department.
Here is a look at how the players performed today
Julian Speroni – 7.5
Could do little for Chelsea’s equaliser as it looped up over him but otherwise was good in the second half as he saved a few tame efforts by Chelsea on goal and a clear Alonso header. Saved by the bar as Fabregas’ shot whizzed past him and held on to his team’s lead with decent goalkeeping.
Joel Ward – 8
Selected ahead of Fosu-Mensah, Ward justified his selection with a solid defensive performance to shut out Hazard and Alonso. He also made a brilliant last-ditch tackle to stop Hazard after Fabregas had sent the Belgian through on goal.
Mamadou Sakho – 7.5
A commanding display from Sakho keeping out the Chelsea attack. It was no mean feat to keep out the likes of Hazard and Willian, no matter how bad they play. However, he almost undid all his good work with a moment of madness when he backheeled a ball back to his own six-yard box. Luckily for him, Chelsea were too poor to even latch onto loose balls in the opposition box.
Scott Dann – 8
Led the defensive line with great leadership and marshalled around his men to keep Chelsa quiet. Easily dealt with the threat of Batshuayi and frustrated the young Belgian by staying on top of him all match.
Patrick van Aanholt – 6
The poorest Palace player on the pitch. Responsible for Chelsea’s goal as he lost Bakayoko in the box for the corner. He also gave Zappacosta far too much space and time down the left channel to cause damage. Missed a golden chance towards the end to seal the points, however, Chelsea failed to capitalize on that.
Luka Milivojevic – 8
A defensive rock. Playing in midfield he refused to let Chelsea have any link up play and hounded on Hazard and Fabregas every time they got the ball.
Jeffrey Schlupp – 7
A solid defensive performance although started getting tired and was rightly replaced by Hodgson before he let Fabregas lose on Palace.
Yohan Cabaye – 7.5
Scored a goal with a deflection but more importantly, he helped the team maintain the composure and turn the ball to Zaha and Townsend quickly everytime he had the ball.
James McArthur – 7
A relatively quiet game for the Rangers-fan compared to his teammates. He did whatever was asked, nothing more nothing less.
Andros Townsend – 9
A battery throughout the match. When on the ball, he ran at every Chelsea player he found; terrorizing and tormenting them. Without the ball, he was tracking back and fighting for every loose ball. By far the most impressive performance of his season.
Wilf Zaha – 9
Palace’s most effective player on the pitch. Returning from an injury, he was given the role of a centre-forward against the Champions’ three-man defence. He managed to get the better of all of them with his pace, power and dribbling and scored a goal in the process.
Jason Puncheon – 6.5
Came on to patch up the acres of space van Aaholt was giving to Zappacosta and did well to close him down and also help in the attack.
Jairo Riedewald – 5
Came on too late and shored up the defence.
Tim Fosu-Mensah – 5
Late substitute and did his task in defence to help Palace hold on to their first victory of the season.