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Result: N'Golo Kante strike earns Chelsea narrow win over Crystal Palace

:Headline: Result: N'Golo Kante strike earns Chelsea narrow win over Crystal Palace:
N'Golo Kante is the match-winner as Chelsea consolidate their place in the top four of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
By , Reporter | 9mo

Chelsea consolidated their place in the top four of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

N'Golo Kante scored the only goal of the London derby early in the second half as the Blues made the most of dropped points by Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal yesterday.


Palace's three-match unbeaten festive run ended with a whimper as they failed to register a single shot on target, and they could have been more soundly beaten had a couple of debatable offside calls not gone in their favour.

The Eagles had kept three successive home clean sheets in the Premier League prior to kickoff and proved difficult for Chelsea to break down during the first half.

Antonio Rudiger did engineer a half-chance for himself on 13 minutes with an unchecked run to the near post, but he could not trouble Vicente Guaita with a difficult header from Willian's free-kick delivery.

The visitors were largely limited to shots from distance as Olivier Giroud teed up Kante for a 25-yard shot which he dragged wide.

When Chelsea did break the Palace lines, the offside flag thwarted Giroud who thumped Jorginho's lofted pass into the bottom corner on the volley, only for replays to show that the Frenchman's strike should have stood.


The woodwork saved Palace twice in as many minutes towards the end of the first half, with Willian striking the base of the post with a dipping free kick.

Another long-range hit from the Brazilian moments later forced Guaita to push around his post for a corner, from which Ross Barkley made a run across the front post and flicked against the frame of the goal.

Palace survived until half time but fell behind six minutes after the restart as Luiz found the run of Kante, who brought down the chipped through-ball and squeezed his shot under the arms of Guaita from 10 yards out.

Wilfried Zaha was on the periphary for the whole match and without the influence of their talismanic winger, Palace were void of an attacking threat for much of the contest.


Roy Hodgson introduced Max Meyer and Connor Wickham, making only his third Premier League appearance in two years, off the bench but Chelsea looked the more likely to add to the score and may have done so had Giroud's luck not been out.

Another marginal offside decision on 73 minutes denied the striker what would have been just his second top-flight goal of the season, the finish again emphatic as he held off James Tomkins and blasted a shot into the roof of the net.

Not until the final five minutes did Palace push for an equaliser, with Zaha bending a shot high and wide, and Wickham failing to keep down a left-footed prod on the half-volley after being set up 12 yards out by a Tomkins knockdown.

With the victory, Chelsea go five points clear of Arsenal in fifth and within two of second-place Spurs.

PALACE (4-5-1): Guatia; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Kouyate (Meyer 78'), McArthur, Schlupp (Wickham 69'), Townsend; Zaha

CHELSEA (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Barkley (Kovacic 88'); Willian (Emerson 82'), Hazard, Giroud (Morata 76') body check tags ::

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last updated article - 2019-01-01 19:35:57:
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool88002061424
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
3Arsenal84311311215
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
5Chelsea84221814414
6Crystal Palace842288014
7Burnley8332119212
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
10Bournemouth83231313011
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
17Southampton8215815-77
18Everton8215613-77
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
20Watford8035420-163
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom116412113822
2Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest11641169722
3Preston North EndPreston1163223121121
4Swansea CitySwansea11632169721
5Leeds UnitedLeeds11623157820
6Bristol City115511813520
7Fulham1154220101019
8Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds11614169719
9Queens Park RangersQPR116141819-119
10Charlton AthleticCharlton115331512318
11Cardiff CityCardiff114431616016
12Birmingham CityBirmingham115151114-316
13Derby CountyDerby113621515015
14Blackburn RoversBlackburn114251315-214
15Millwall113531014-414
16Hull City113441416-213
17Brentford1133599012
18Luton TownLuton113261520-511
19Wigan AthleticWigan11326916-711
20Middlesbrough112451116-510
21Huddersfield TownHuddersfield112271218-68
22Reading112271117-68
23Barnsley11137822-146
24Stoke CityStoke111281122-115
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