Chelsea struggle to victory against plucky Palace

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Football News

Chelsea moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Arsenal by securing a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. 

First half goals from Fernando Torres and Ramires, who scored either side of a Marouane Chamakh strike, ensured the west London side claimed all three points at Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea's first chance at goal came after 14 minutes when Ramires' volley was caught by Julian Speroni. 

Torres opened the scoring moments later however as the aforementioned Speroni pushed Willian's shot onto the post - only for Chelsea's £50million striker to tap home from close-range.

The Spaniard's first-half strike ended his five-match streak without a goal, with his last coming in Chelsea's 2-1 victory against fellow Premier League title rivals Manchester City. 

Branislav Ivanovic came close to doubling Chelsea's lead in the 21st minute when the defender made a marauding run down the right before unleashing a low drive that whistled past Speroni's post. 

Chelsea remained in control of possession after their opener without putting much pressure on Palace's goal. 

The Eagles levelled the scoring in the 29th minute when former Arsenal striker Chamakh converted a beautifully-timed cross by Joel Ward to bag his side an all-important equaliser. 

Palace fans celebrated their only goal of the game by singing 'Marouane Chamakh, he scores when he wants', as the Moroccan international netted his third consecutive goal. 

However Tony Pulis' side were on level terms for just shy of seven minutes as Ramires curled a finessed shot past the helpless Speroni - to score his first Premier League goal of the season.

Willian should have ensured his side went into half-time with a two-goal lead, as the Brazilian international's tame shot went straight at Speroni, leaving Mourinho having to vent his frustration by kicking a first aid bag.

The second half started in similar fashion - with Chelsea again dictating play in the midfield through the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.

Pulis made a change shortly after the interval with Yannick Bolasie replacing Barry Bannan in hope that the Congolese winger could add some much-needed potency to the Eagles attack. 

Palace should have scored an equaliser in the 76th minute when Cameron Jerome was allowed the space and time to cross for Stuart O'Keefe, whose shot was blocked on the line by the outstanding John Terry before teammate Ivanovic intervened to deny the Eagles midfielder from scoring on the rebound. 

Substitutes Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba failed to put the game to bed late on, however the Blues held on to move back into second spot.

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