Crystal Palace can’t be faulted for their work rate
Despite their awful record in 2016, a year in which they have now lost 22 Premier League matches, Palace were good this afternoon and were unlucky to lose. The players are giving their all for Alan Pardew and they were much better defensively than they have been for the last few weeks. There are reasons to believe that they are going to climb the table, but doubts remain about Pardew, as he seems incapable of arresting a slide. Damien Delaney was excellent at the back and it was only one lapse in concentration from Scott Dann that allowed Chelsea to take the lead. They may have lost yet again, but there is hope for Palace.
This afternoon, they came up against the best side of the league and it was always going to be difficult for them to take something from this match. Although they competed well, they struggled to create clear cut opportunities and were too reliant on Wilfried Zaha to make something happen. He is dangerous and in great form at the moment, but they need the player on the other wing to offer more. Jason Puncheon was hard-working, but struggled to have an impact in the final third. It begs the question why Andros Townsend is not being used more as he was impressive for Newcastle towards the end of last season. There is work for Palace to do, but there are reasons for optimism.