90+4min - Full time, Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Chelsea. Not the prettiest game, or performance from Chelsea but we got the job done in the end. There were two close offside calls but apart from them, nothing worth a shout (apart from the goal). Palace posed little to no thread, save for a few last-ditch attempts to equalise.
90+1min - David Luiz clears a Palace free-kick well. Two minutes left to play.
89min - A 2v2 situation with Morata and Hazard as Chelsea counter and Palace have thrown all their men forward, but Sakho tackles the striker cleanly.
88min - Connor Wickham’s toe-poke following a set-piece from deep could have put Palace level, but it’s fired over the crossbar.
87min - Kovacic comes on for Barkley, as Chelsea make their final substitution of the game.
85min - Zaha cuts inside and takes a swing from the edge of the box, luckily it’s way off the mark.
84min - Van Aanholt lets fly from distance but it’s deflected wide.
82min - Former Chelsea man, Patrick van Aanholt looks to cause some problems down the left with an early cross into the penalty area but it’s slightly overhit.
81min - Emerson replaces Willian.
77min - Max Meyer replaces defensive midfielder Kouyate, as the Eagles look to add more attacking impetus to their ranks.
76min - Alvaro Morata replaces the injured Giroud.
72min - Giroud has the ball in the back of the net again - with the same foot - but only after the whistle blew for offside. Now he’s down with a knock after being caught by Tomkins whilst doing so.
68min - Connor Wickham replaces Jeff Schlupp. Wickham has been struggling with injuries for the last two years so it’s good to see him back on the pitch but hopefully he’ll be ineffective this evening.
67min - A lovely piece of combination play sees Willian take an angled shot from about 12 yards but Guaita saves.
66min - A cross from Andros Townsend causes some panic in Chelsea’s defensive third, but ultimately comes to nothing.
63min - Chelsea have been laying siege to the Palace penalty area but haven’t had a clear attempt on goal in the last ten minutes.
54min - Zaha looks to run off the shoulder of the Chelsea defence and is almost set free by a McArthur pass, but it’s called back for offside.
50min - GOAAAAAAL CHELSEA! It’s that man N’Golo Kante again. David Luiz’s lobbed through ball into the box is timed to perfection with Kante’s surging run and the midfielder finishes past Guaita with aplomb. 0-1!
46min - We’re back underway. Come on, Chelsea!
45+1min - A weak volleyed shot from Ross Barkley on the stroke of half-time sums up the first 45 minutes of action.
35min - Chelsea hit the same upright again, via Ross Barkley’s ‘overhead’ kick from a corner, which seemed to come off some part of his shin as well.
34min - Guaita is finally called into action, as he dives to reach Willian’s free-kick, which hit the upright, and subsequently from another effort from distance by Willian.
32min - Yet another long-range shot, this time it’s Jorginho and it goes well, well wide.
28min - It’s a stunning left-footed finish on the volley by Giroud, but the linesman flags for offside.
27min - A spell of pressure outside the Palace penalty area culminates in an attempted through ball by Jorginho, which is cut out by the Eagles’ defence.
20min - Another effort from distance by Kante, this time a couple of deflections take the sting out of it by the time it reaches Guaita.
17min - Giroud holds the ball up well and flicks it back to Kante, who lets fly from outside the box. It’s off target.
14min - James McArthur gets into a good position inside the penalty area and unleashes a shot but it’s deflected out for a corner.
13min - A Willian in-swinging free-kick is met by a looping header from Rudiger, although it doesn’t trouble Guaita.
9min - Marcos Alonso is booked for alarming petulance this early on, throwing the ball away after an errant pass from Luiz resulted in a Palace throw-in.
5min - Chelsea have enjoyed all of the ball possession so far but failed to make any notable inroads to the attacking third.
0min - The action is now underway at Selhurst Park, with Chelsea donning their bright-yellow shades.
If all goes according to past trends, today’s match will not fall on the ‘easy’ side of the bracket.
Selhurst Park is always a tough place to go but it’s only recently that Chelsea have struggled there. They’ve lost twice in the past 3 seasons, having only lost once in the the 5 before that.— Olivia Buzaglo (@OliviaBuzaglo) December 30, 2018
Massive chance today, given Spurs & Arsenal both lost. Huge performance needed. #CFC
Still, we need to pounce on the opportunity provided by our London rivals loss yesterday. A win today will us two points behind (now) second-place Tottenham, and five points clear of fifth-place Arsenal to cement us further in the top four.
Let’s win this!
Crystal Palace starting lineup (4-4-2):
Guaita | Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt | McArthur, Kouyaté, Milojevic (c), Schlupp | Townsend, Zaha
Substitutes from: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Meyer, Puncheon, Wickham, Ayew
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Alonso | Kanté, Jorginho, Barkley | Willian, Giroud, Hazard
Substitutes from: Caballero, Emerson, Zappacosta, Christensen, Ampadu, Kovacic, Morata
Date / Time: Sunday, December 30, 2018, 12:00 GMT; 7am EST; 5:30pm IST
Venue: Selhurst Park, London, England
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