Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

English Premiership

Hazard storms Palace to give Chelsea title

HAZARD-DROGBALONDON, May 3- Eden Hazard scored the only goal as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at a festive, sun-soaked Stamford Bridge on Sunday to claim their first Premier League title since 2010.

The Belgian headed in after Julian Speroni had parried his self-won penalty late in the first half to register his 19th goal of the season and carry Jose Mourinho’s side over the line with three games to spare.

Chelsea moved 16 points clear of outgoing champions Manchester City, who visit Tottenham Hotspur later on Sunday, and Arsenal, who travel to Hull City on Monday, meaning they can no longer be caught.

The title success, the club’s fifth in total, follows Chelsea’s triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final and sets the seal on a campaign they have dominated from start to finish.

The title-clinching win was characteristic of Chelsea’s gritty recent displays and it gave Mourinho the first league crown of his second stint at the club, as well as the eighth of his managerial career.

The Portuguese sent his side out with a succinct message in the match-day programme — “Three more points to be champions. Let’s do it together.” — but it took the hosts a while to get going.

With Didier Drogba dropping deep up front, Chelsea struggled to get in behind the visitors, who posed a threat on the break through the quicksilver dribbling of left-winger Wilfried Zaha.

When Chelsea did began to create chances, they found Palace goalkeeper Speroni in jittery form.

The Argentine was obliged to save at his near post from Nemanja Matic after failing to claim a Cesc Fabregas free-kick, while another set-piece saw him unconvincingly fumble away a shot from Drogba.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

It required a trademark, full-bodied block from John Terry, meanwhile, to prevent Jason Puncheon giving Palace the lead, the ball flicking away off the Chelsea captain’s arm.

But on the cusp of half-time, Hazard, as he has done so often this season, supplied the breakthrough.

Despite minimal contact, James McArthur was adjudged to have impeded the Belgium forward in the penalty area as he burst onto Willian’s back-heel.

Hazard took the penalty himself and although Speroni blocked his initial shot — the first time he has failed to score from the spot in 10 attempts in the Premier League — he followed in to head home.

Chelsea’s fans spent part of the second half addressing odes to their club’s former stars, but Thibaut Courtois had to save decisively from Zaha before the champagne could be uncorked.

Palace have now lost three games in succession, but with survival long since secure, even their fans left the Bridge with smiles on their faces.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

Features

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Kakamega High School ‘Green Commandos’ have produced a plethora of talent over the past decades in Kenyan football...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved