Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

No honours at the Palace for Chelsea; Manchester City held

Chelsea's John Terry react after their English Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Saturday. (Reuters) Chelsea's John Terry reacts after their English Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Saturday. (Reuters)
Reuters | London | Posted: March 30, 2014 5:46 pm

Chelsea suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace while Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday, opening the door for Liverpool to go top of the Premier League in their home game on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea sank to their first defeat by Palace in 24 years after captain John Terry headed a Joel Ward cross into his own goal early in the second half amid suggestions the ball touched home defender Joe Ledley’s hand on the way in.

The Stamford Bridge club stayed top on 69 points but could be overtaken by Liverpool who are a point behind going into their game in hand against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday.

Title favourites City are third on 67 points with two games in hand on Chelsea.

“Now I feel it’s impossible to win the title,” manager Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“We depend too much on other results. Two weekends ago we lost three points (to Aston Villa) and now it is too much about other results.”

David Silva opened the scoring for City in the 18th minute before Mathieu Flamini equalised soon after the break to earn a draw for fourth-placed Arsenal who are on 64 points and retain outside title hopes.

Champions Manchester United ended a week of turmoil with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa, a double by England striker Wayne Rooney easing the pressure on manager David Moyes.

Palace’s victory lifted them to fifth from bottom with 31 points, five clear of the relegation zone, and Selhurst Park was rocking at the end of the game with the joyous home fans belting out their ‘Glad All Over’ anthem.

Chelsea, who have six matches left, thrashed Arsenal 6-0 last weekend but gave a limp display against Tony Pulis’ Palace who had failed to win in their previous five matches, scoring just once.

Only goal
The Eagles grabbed the only goal when Terry headed the ball into his own net at the near post in the 52nd minute, leaving keeper Petr Cech stranded.

Eden Hazard had two opportunities to haul the visitors level but could not find a way past inspired keeper Julian Speroni.

Palace also had several chances to make the game safe with a series of lively counter attacks.

“We were threatening and played fantastically well,” Pulis said. “We have seven games left to get the points we need and it’s going to be tough.”

City started brightly at the Emirates Stadium with Pablo Zabaleta and Jesus Navas causing problems down the right while Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end when Zabaleta tripped Tomas Rosicky.

When the opening goal arrived it was little surprise that it was created and finished by the impressive Silva. He fed Edin Dzeko and when the striker’s shot rebounded off the bar, the Spain continued…

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