Tammy Abraham fired Chelsea to their sixth Premier League win in a row to send Frank Lampard's side second in the table after a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
Abraham's tenth goal of the season, plus another one from in-form American Christian Pulisic gave the Blues a fine victory, where they had to work hard to break down a well-drilled Palace side.
Roy Hodgson had his side set up as they so often are away from home, to defend first and try and pinch something on the break, but they had little to offer going forward in a low-key first half.
Chelsea got the break through early in the second half when a nice move got Abraham one-on-one and he made no mistake to break the deadlock.
That brought Palace out of their shell but it was Pulisic who effectively sealed the game with a header 11 minutes from time.
The win put Chelsea a point ahead of Manchester City, who of course visit league leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, so Lampard's men must now be mentioned in the title conversation.
Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace - goal highlights
Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace Opta stats
- Chelsea have won six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2017 under Antonio Conte, in their last title-winning season.
- This was Crystal Palace’s 100th Premier League London derby (W23 D 23 L54), with only Fulham posting a lower points-per-game rate in such games (0.84) than the Eagles (0.92).
- Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is the seventh English manager to win six consecutive Premier League matches, and the first since Alan Pardew in April 2012 with Newcastle United.
- With an average age of 24 years and 88 days, Chelsea named their youngest ever starting XI in the Premier League, and the youngest of any team in the competition this season.
- Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson oversaw his 300th Premier League game as manager, becoming the 15th boss to hit that milestone.
- César Azpilicueta’s run of 73 consecutive starts in the Premier League for Chelsea ended, with the Spaniard failing to start for the first time since November 2017 against Swansea.
- Crystal Palace failed to attempt a single shot in the first half of a Premier League match for the first time since March 2014 away to Swansea City.
- Tammy Abraham is the second youngest player to reach double figures for Premier League goals for Chelsea, after Arjen Robben (21y 342d).
- Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is the fourth American to score in three consecutive Premier League games, after Clint Dempsey (3 times), Joe-Max Moore and Roy Wegerle.
Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace - As it happened