Diego Costa leapt highest to head Chelsea in front shortly before half-time and the Blues held on to take their remarkable run to 11 successive league wins.
Diego Costa sends Chelsea soaring at Palace with 11th straight league win
There is simply no stopping Chelsea. Antonio Contes side equalled a club record here, muscling their way to an 11th win in succession to establish a nine-point advantage to hold overnight and leave the chasing pack struggling to spy them at the summit. They had already proved they can dazzle on this run. This derby demanded more brawn, but the outcome was still the same. They are steeled by an air of invincibility at present.
Alan Pardew, head bowed almost in resignation as he trudged down the touchline at the final whistle, will have taken no pleasure in being proved right with his pre-match assessment that these opponents can appear unbeatable. Here they proved impenetrable. What was impressive was the visitors ability to scrap for the points, beating the hosts at their own game while forever retaining that lively threat on the counterattack and feverishly suffocating Palaces attempts at revival. The home side have been prolific this season, with only four teams having scored more, but they were blunted virtually throughout.
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Replay – EPL: Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
CW: CD B3 35 B5 14 9C FE AE