Premier League
ChelseaChelsea1Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace2

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Chelsea's four-point total is the second-lowest tally at this stage of a Premier League season by a reigning champion

Jose Mourinho suffered only his second defeat in his 100th home league game in charge of Chelsea as Crystal Palace claimed a shock win at Stamford Bridge.

After a goalless first half in which Chelsea dominated possession, Palace took the lead when Bakary Sako drove in after Yannick Bolasie's low cross.

Chelsea responded when substitute Radamel Falcao headed in his first goal for the club.

Palace regained the lead immediately as Joel Ward nodded in a late winner.

Relive Crystal Palace's win at Chelsea

Reaction to this match and the rest of Saturday's action

We didn't deserve to lose - Mourinho

Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions, are now eight points behind leaders Manchester City after four games.

They have been far from convincing so far this season having collected just four points, with only one of those picked up on home soil.

Mourinho called the 3-0 loss to Manchester City "a fake result" but it is hard to argue that Palace were not good value for this win.

Alex McCarthy produced a fine double-save to deny Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas in the first half, while Kurt Zouma had a penalty claim waved away, but otherwise the hosts were restricted to few clear-cut chances.

Instead, Palace could have won by a bigger margin, with Bolasie missing from close range when the visitors led 1-0.

A case for the defence?

Branislav Ivanovic
Crystal Palace appeared to pick out Branislav Ivanovic as the weak link, focusing most of their attacks - particularly in the first half - down the full-back's side of the pitch

A major contributing factor to Chelsea's disappointing start to the season has been their defence, with the Blues having now conceded nine goals in just four games.

Palace pace frightened Chelsea - Pardew

The hosts were forced into a change at centre-back because of John Terry's suspension and Gary Cahill was the player to step in and partner Kurt Zouma.

Mourinho continues to be frustrated in his pursuit of Everton defender John Stones, but it was not the middle of the defence that gave him the most cause for concern on Saturday.

Branislav Ivanovic has struggled for form so far this term and Palace targeted the right-back, with 50% of their attacks in the first half coming down that side of the pitch.

Crucially, Ivanovic was caught out when Sako was allowed to provide the ball for Ward to score the decisive goal.

Eagles soar again

Connor Wickham
Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has now played a part in both Chelsea's league defeats at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho. He was in the Sunderland side that beat the Blues in April 2014

Crystal Palace made the short trip across London looking to record only their second league victory at Stamford Bridge - and first since 1982.

However, the Eagles arrived at Chelsea boasting one of the strongest away records in the Premier League in 2015, having lost just two of their nine games on the road since Alan Pardew was appointed on 3 January, winning the rest.

Part of the reason for Palace's impressive away form has been the expansive, attacking football Pardew has encouraged his side to play and that was certainly on show at Chelsea.

While the hosts may have dominated possession, Palace were dangerous on the counter, with Sako exploiting gaps left by Ivanovic in the first half on a number of occasions.

Creativity concern for Chelsea

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard created three chances and had one shot against Crystal Palace

Eden Hazard was a pivotal player for Chelsea last season, inspiring them to a first Premier League title in five years.

Such was his influence throughout 2014-15 that the Belgian has found himself a marked man in the current campaign, with as many as three players closing him down whenever he is in possession.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said recentlyexternal-link that the arrival of Pedro would help alleviate the burden on Hazard and allow him to rediscover his creative spark, but once again he failed to shine.

Pedro was Chelsea's main creative outlet and he created as many chances (five) as Hazard and Willian combined.

While the Blues' defence arguably needs strengthening, their lack of bite in attack will also be a cause for concern for Mourinho.

Graphic comparing performances of Bakary Sako and Eden Hazard
Crystal Palace attacker Bakary Sako (left) was far less busy than Chelsea counterpart Eden Hazard (right), but what he did do proved far more effective - particularly in the penalty area. The Mali player scored one and provided one assist (blue arrow), as well as creating two scoring chances. Green lines = successful passes, red lines = unsuccessful passes

Man of the match - Bakary Sako

Bakary Sako
Bakary Sako was a constant menace as he scored his second goal in as many games, as well as setting up the Palace winner

Managers' reaction

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho: "We didn't deserve to lose. But Palace gave us a very difficult game. The result should be a draw, which would still be bad for us. We did enough not to lose."

Read more as Mourinho discusses his team's start to the season.

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew: "It was a really good performance today - one of the best performances I've seen from one of my teams in terms of composure. We can frighten teams with our pace and we did that from start to finish. Our defenders had to defend really well and they did."

The stats you need to know

  • Chelsea's four-point total is the second lowest tally at this stage of a Premier League season by a reigning champion.
  • The Blues have conceded nine goals in four league games this season; their worst defensive record at this stage since 1971-72.
  • Bakary Sako has scored five goals and made four assists in his last nine league appearances (for Wolves and Crystal Palace).
  • No team has won more points than Crystal Palace away from home in the Premier League in 2015 (25 - same as Arsenal).

Who's up next?

After the international break, Mourinho takes his Chelsea side to Everton on 12 September while Crystal Palace host Manchester City on the same day.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Courtois
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 5Zouma
  • 24CahillBooked at 71mins
  • 28AzpilicuetaSubstituted forKenedyat 68'minutes
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 21MaticSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 73'minutes
  • 17Pedro
  • 22WillianSubstituted forFalcaoat 66'minutes
  • 10E Hazard
  • 19Diego Costa


  • 1Begovic
  • 6Baba
  • 9Falcao
  • 12Mikel
  • 16Kenedy
  • 18Remy
  • 36Loftus-Cheek

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12McCarthy
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 27Delaney
  • 23Souaré
  • 18McArthur
  • 7CabayeBooked at 73minsSubstituted forLedleyat 82'minutes
  • 42Puncheon
  • 26SakoSubstituted forLeeat 84'minutes
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forBolasieat 55'minutes
  • 21Wickham


  • 3Mariappa
  • 10Bolasie
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee
  • 16Gayle
  • 22Mutch
  • 28Ledley
Craig Pawson

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea).

  4. Post update

    Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Falcao (Chelsea).

  6. Post update

    Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

  9. Post update

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kenedy.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Falcao (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Falcao (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kenedy.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kenedy (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Falcao (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pedro with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces Bakary Sako.