Chelsea suffered a surprising 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Saturday
Antonio Conte’s men took the lead through a goal from Cesc Fabregas, who turned home Eden Hazard’s cross after five minutes but the lead was very short-lived and Chelsea were in for a shocking few minutes of football.
Wilfried Zaha produced a fine solo finish to turn and fire home from the edge of the box and only 91 seconds later, the former Manchester United winger provided Christian Benteke with an assist. The Belgian striker completely bamboozled Thibaut Courtois before dinking the ball into the goal.
Chelsea stepped up their game after the goals and launched wave after wave of attacks on Palace’s goal but goalkeeper Wayne Henessey was one of the heroes of the night, pulling off a number of fine saves to keep the Blues at bay.
Speaking after the match, Antonio Conte admitted that Chelsea needed to look at the nature of the two goals they conceded and figure out how to improve that aspect of their game but was adamant his side would move and and focus on the Manchester City match.
“This is football. We must accept this result. We scored our goal after five minutes and then we conceded two in a few minutes. When you concede goals in that way you must understand the situation and improve on these mistakes. In every game in England, anything can happen. The league is so strong.”
“We faced a team today with strong players. I think they showed they were a good team. Now we have to think about the next game. If we had won we would have been happy but now it’s important to focus on Manchester City,” he said, according to the Daily Star.
With Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Burnley, it now means Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table has been reduced to just 7 points. This makes the match on Thursday against Manchester City all the more important for the Blues.
There were signs tonight that the international break could have played a part in Chelsea’s loss but in the end it came down to a disciplined Palace side perfectly following Sam Allardyce’s instructions and holding on for a victory.
Antonie Conte will be hoping that his team quickly bounces back and that they do not slip up against Pep Guardiola’s side, or the title race could quickly change from the foregone conclusion it has been all season and go right down to the wire.