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Full-time: Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea

  • Chelsea secure only their second away win of the season and first overall since Guus Hiddink succeeded Jose Mourinho as manager
  • Oscar gave the visitors a 1-0 half-time lead before Willian and Diego Costa notched after the break
  • Eden Hazard limped off after just 16 minutes through injury
  • Crystal Palace's run of seven games unbeaten comes to an end and they have now failed to score in their last three outings
  • Chelsea rise to 14th and six points clear of the bottom three, while Palace remain seventh
Goals from Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa secured only Chelsea's second away win of the season AFP

That is all for this particular live blog, but stay with IBTimes UK and click here to follow live coverage of the final Premier League fixture of the weekend as Everton host in-form Tottenham at Goodison Park.

Only Chelsea's second away win of the season and their first three points since the return of Hiddink is secured in confident fashion. The likes of Costa and Fabregas were much improved and last season's champions are now up to 14th, six points clear of the relegation zone. An excellent start to 2016 that could finally signal their move up the Premier League table.

As for Palace, their seven-match unbeaten run is now at an end and Pardew's side have now gone three consecutive games without a single goal. A win today would have seen them overtake Manchester United in fifth, but for now they remain behind West Ham in seventh and travel to Southampton in the FA Cup next weekend.


Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea

Palace's miserable afternoon is summed up at the death as the lively Zaha releases Chamakh but his cross towards Souare is overhit and the final whistle sounds.

Three minutes of added time to be played. Zaha produces an impressive run that ends with Courtois easily claiming Puncheon's weak shot.

A second change from Hiddink and the first of this second half sees Matic, still donning that black face mask, on in place of Oscar.

No let up for Palace as Chelsea win a corner before Oscar picks out Willian with a nice through ball down the right. With no teammates in the six-yard-box, he instead elects to chip the ball towards the back post where Costa tries an ambitious left-foot volley that goes well wide.

Tricky stuff from Oscar to work his way into the area but his low shot is well blocked by Delaney.

Chelsea are not finished just yet and only a risky but well-executed sliding tackle from Delaney denies Costa a second as he bears down on goal.

Pardew makes one final substitution as Jonny Williams, who recently returned early from a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, comes on for Lee. The Welsh midfielder is greeted warmly by home fans.

Cries of handball from the stands as Zaha gets behind Azpilicueta to the byline and fires a cross into the midriff of Terry. No penalty given.

Dann has entered the referee's notebook for a cynical late foul on Costa.

Costa's effort appears to have sucked all the enthusiasm and energy from Selhurst Park. Palace's players just going through the motions now with 15 minutes plus stoppage time still to play.

Pardew made two changes in the aftermath of that third goal, with Joe Ledley and Chamakh replacing Jedinak and Campbell.

This has been a very professional performance from Chelsea, almost unrecognisable from some of the displays witnessed under Mourinho earlier this term. The away supporters are sure to be wondering why it has taken so long for this to happen.

Minutes after Zaha is frustrated by solid defending from Ivanovic at the other end, Chelsea seal all three points with a third goal.

Willian is again heavily involved as he sprints down the right flank, beating McArthur for pace before drilling in a low effort that is pushed out by Hennessey straight into the path of Costa, who slots home the rebound via a huge deflection off Ward.

Goal: Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea (Diego Costa)

Palace have a mountain to climb now as a confident Chelsea increase their lead. The impressive Fabregas plays a clever pass to Oscar and Dann makes a tackle before Willian lashes home the loose ball with a right-footed drive from all of 20 yards.

What a strike.

Goal: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea (Willian)

As the hour mark approaches, Zaha spurns one of Palace's best chances as he is teed up by Campbell. The tricky winger neglects to hit it first time, however, and his eventual shot is saved by Courtois. Pardew will be frustrated with that.

Confident goalkeeping from Hennessey to claim an awkward cross and launch a counter attack as Zouma is forced to put the ball out of play under pressure from Zaha.

The moves break down, however, and Jedinak is then booked for bringing down Oscar. The referee appears to be indicating that it's for persistent fouling.

A real opportunity for Chelsea to double their advantage is wasted as Willian is fouled by Jedinak and the Brazilian stands up a good delivery to the back post.

Zouma gets above Jedinak to win the header, but the ball is travelling a touch too fast and flies wide of Hennessey's right-hand post.

Willian beats Delaney with a couple of quick stepovers but McArthur is alert at the front post to divert his cross wide. Two corners come to nothing from Chelsea and Mikel makes an excellent challenge to stop Campbell coming forward on the break.

Pape Souare is released down the left-hand side and has time to pick out a decent cross. Unfortunately for Palace, he makes a complete hash of it and the ball goes well over the top.

A lot of possession for Chelsea to start this second half. Palace look content to bide their time and wait for a chance to intercept rather than press high up the field and leave themselves vulnerable.

Both sides are back out and the second half is upon us. Crystal Palace have 45 minutes to erase the deficit.

Is Costa turning over a new leaf post-Mourinho? Fabregas also looks much improved...

Hiddink will be content with that first-half performance. Neither side have created too many clear-cut chances, but Chelsea are showing a lot of fight and determination that was absent under Mourinho just a few short weeks ago.

It was a lovely pass from Fabregas and unselfish play from Costa that led to Oscar's goal, but Delaney will be kicking himself for not making the interception. This game is certainly not beyond Palace, however.


Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea

Handbags from Zaha and Ivanovic as Puncheon prepares to flight in a deep free-kick that is cleared by Zouma. Two minutes of stoppage time signalled.

Ivanovic is forced into a heavy backpass under pressure from Zaha, but Courtois demonstrates his footballing ability by controlling perfectly in terrible conditions and thumping the ball away from danger.

Jedinak is caught unawares following clever play from McArthur as Chelsea launch another attack, but Willian fails to spot the run of Costa and his low pass is cleared by Ward. Five minutes remaining before the interval.

With Ward and Lee caught hopelessly narrow, Oscar plays a delightful lofted ball towards the run of Azpilicueta down the left-hand flank.

The Spanish full-back takes it down on his chest before running into the penalty area and firing a powerful shot that is well parried by Wayne Hennessey. Dann heads behind the rebound.

A good Chelsea move involving Fabregas, Costa and a deceptive dummy from Pedro results in a strong sliding challenge from Ward to concede a corner.

The ball is played towards Terry at the front post, but his flick on eventually floats harmlessly wide.

Palace look to respond immediately as Lee makes good inroads into Chelsea's final third but a lack of composure sees him lash the ball high over the crossbar.

Chelsea have created very little thus far, but they take the lead with just over 15 minutes remaining until half-time.

After patient play from Mikel, Fabregas slides an excellent through ball into the path of Costa down the right channel. Delaney tries to make the interception but misses, leaving the striker to run through on goal and draw the attention of Dann before squaring it for Oscar to sweep home from close range.

Goal: Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea (Oscar)

Cesar Azpilicueta is perhaps a tad fortunate to avoid a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Lee. Friend is certainly making allowances for the awful conditions.

A fantastic recovery challenge from Zouma denies the marauding Zaha, but Palace come back again and an early cross from Puncheon evades both Scott Dann and Terry but Campbell can only blaze over at the back post.

Chelsea begin to apply a bit of pressure but things break down as Mikel wins the ball with a strong tackle but is then whistled for a foul on McArthur. It's fair to say that he is not particularly happy with the decision.

Substitute Pedro cuts inside and attempts a shot that is well blocked by Ward. Referee Friend then stops play immediately for the defender to receive treatment after he appears to take an accidental boot to the face from Delaney.

That looked a painful one.

John Obi Mikel is penalised for a rash sliding challenge on Ward. Lee overcooks his delivery, but the ball is kept alive at the back post and Palace win another corner.

Delaney then gets his head to Puncheon's ball in but Courtois makes an easy claim.

A real early blow for Chelsea as Hazard slowly limps off to be replaced by Pedro.

Strong defending from Ward to shepherd Hazard out of play following a good Chelsea passing move.

The Belgian appeared to hurt himself while winning that earlier corner and he is now signalling to the bench that he cannot continue.

The first caution of the day is issued to Delaney, who is penalised for a rash tackle from behind on Costa.

Hazard wins a corner after leaving his position on the left-hand flank, but James McArthur is able to clear his lines effectively after a searching header from Branislav Ivanovic.

Captain Mile Jedinak then wins an excellent flick-on to set Puncheon away down the right, but his early cross towards Zaha is overhit and rolls out of play.

A sumptuous cross from Ward splits Zouma and John Terry, but the former blocks before Campbell can react.

Zaha then sprints across the edge of Thibaut Courtois' 18-yard box before pulling a low shot wide.

Atrocious conditions at Selhurst Park as the torrential rain continues to fall, but Palace create an early opening as Lee wins a corner following a challenge from Kurt Zouma.

Jason Puncheon aims his delivery towards the deep run of Delaney, but Chelsea can clear.

Referee Kevin Friend gets us underway. Are Chelsea 90 minutes away from their first win of Guus Hiddink's second reign?

Just under 10 minutes remaining until kick-off.

Crystal Palace took bragging rights when these two teams met at Stamford Bridge back in August, recording their first victory at Chelsea since 1982 and also inflicting only Mourinho's second home defeat in English football.

Sako gave the visitors a 65th-minute lead when he finished from Bolasie's cross, but Falcao soon equalised with his only goal for the club to date when he converted Pedro's delivery to the front post.

The winning goal came from an unlikely source in full-back Joel Ward just two minutes later.

Eden Hazard, who operated as a false nine against Manchester United over the festive period, scored the rebound from his own penalty in the team's final meeting last season. That game was particularly significant as it confirmed Chelsea's first title since 2010.

The issue of Bamford's lack of playing time during his five-month spell at Palace has certainly been a talking point in recent days.

After the striker, who proved a huge succession with Championship promotion contenders Middlesbrough last season, clarified seemingly disappointed comments he made following the draw with Swansea, Pardew told The Guardian:

Patrick made a slight error after the game. I think he was a little bit emotional. He has addressed that. I appreciate that. His comments on Wednesday were much nearer the mark. He has had every chance here.

"We have been getting fantastic results, so his chances have been limited. We kept on winning and you have to keep the balance of the side. It is as simple as that. Patrick has learned from that experience and I would like to think he will be a very good player for Chelsea and England going forward.

"This was a learning curve for him. He knows this is a little bit of a step up from the Championship, but there is nothing to suggest he can't make that step up. I wish him all the best for the future.

"I like him. He's a prospect. His game time here was disappointing. I get that. Now he needs to find game time in the Premier League. Will he get that at Chelsea? I hope he becomes a top player because he has some really nice attributes as a person and if he becomes a great player, then great

Patrick Bamford has now returned to Chelsea after his disappointing loan spell was brought to a premature conclusion following just nine total appearances in all competitions and not a single goal. He would not have been permitted to play against his parent club today anyway.

Crystal Palace's list of absentees is somewhat lengthy, with Cabaye joining strike duo Connor Wickham and Dwight Gayle on the sidelines. Yannick Bolasie and Bakary Sako also remain out.

In terms of unavailable players, Chelsea are still missing Radamel Falcao as the Monaco loanee, who has not featured since late October, continues to recover from a recurring thigh injury.

Aston Villa target Loic Remy is expected to return from a calf problem for the FA Cup third-round tie against Scunthorpe United next weekend.

Hiddink was hopeful that Gary Cahill may shake off an ankle ligament injury in time for today's contest, but there are now suggestions that he failed a late fitness test.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha will reach an impressive milestone at Selhurst Park this afternoon...

As for Palace, influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye misses out through suspension and is replaced by Chung-Yong Lee. Centre-back Damien Delaney returns at the expense of Brede Hangeland after missing the draw with Swansea, while Marouane Chamakh drops to the bench in favour of Fraizer Campbell.

Hiddink makes two changes to the starting XI that drew 0-0 at Manchester United last time out, with Spanish international duo Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa both returning.

Costa missed the match at Old Trafford after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Watford, while Fabregas has been suffering from illness. Nemanja Matic and Pedro both drop to the bench.

Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Diego Costa

Subs: Begovic, Baba, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Ramires, Traore, Pedro

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare, Lee, Jedinak, McArthur, Puncheon; Zaha, Campbell

Subs: McCarthy, Kelly, Ledley, Mutch, J. Williams, Sako, Chamakh

Team news is imminent...

With the inevitably significant fallout from Jose Mourinho's sacking finally dying down, the tough task of guiding fallen champions Chelsea back to respectability has begun in tentative fashion for temporary successor Guus Hiddink.

Following a comfortable 3-1 home win over struggling Sunderland that was overseen by Steve Holland but marred by a sustained hostile reaction from furious supporters who felt the players had betrayed their former boss, the returning Dutchman has since maintained his impressive Premier League record with draws against Watford and Manchester United.

Today, Chelsea, still hovering just three points above the relegation zone, face a difficult test against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Although their last two outings have ended in stalemate, the hosts are enjoying a strong season under Alan Pardew and to complete a first ever league double over their London rivals would mean leapfrogging Manchester United into fifth place.

This could be a real feisty affair in the capital, so stay with IBTimes UK as we bring you breaking team news, confirmed line-ups and frequent live updates throughout the afternoon.