Chelsea boss Sarri focused exclusively on Palace as Premier League record looms

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A double from Alvaro Morata steered Chelsea to a comprehensive 3-1 win over Crystal Palace to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

Palace, seeking a third win in four visits to their London rivals, looked more purposeful in the opening half hour.

Just like Moses, Loftus-Cheek is yet to start a Premier League match this season, although he recently hit a hat-trick against BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Sarri's men have won all five of their cup games in the Europa League and the League Cup to barely put a foot wrong under the former Napoli manager. The Blues may have lost two of the last three league meetings between the sides, but they are a different proposition under Sarri and it would take a fearless punter to oppose them here.

Maurizio Sarri has confirmed that Victor Moses and Danny Drinkwater are not in his tactical plans this season, but added that he will rotate his team more during the frantic festive fixture schedule.


Without Hazard on the pitch, Chelsea appeared to lack a cutting edge.

He constantly caused trouble for the Blues and created a shooting chance for Max Meyer, who fired over from the edge of the box. Perhaps Chelsea could even suffer their first defeat of the season to a side that were just positive enough to scare them, but sensible enough to stay solid.

After his cross from the right was headed back towards him by Palace defender James Tomkins, Pedro fired the ball across the face of goal and Morata was on hand to steer it past Wayne Hennessy.

Pedro centred again, Morata controlled, turned and fired in with his second touch.

However, a well worked goal by Palace hauled them level eight minutes into the second half.


69- Goal! Game over!

In the middle of the park, the only sticking point is the choice between Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley.

The Belgium playmaker's free-kick bounced through to Morata at the far post. The Spaniard controlled the ball beautifully in the penalty area.

And Pedro made it 3-1 by meeting Marcos Alonso's low cross with an emphatic first-time finish with 20 minutes remaining.

The club is prepared to make Hazard the highest paid player in the its history but the 27-year-old is waiting for news from the La Liga giants before deciding on a new deal, according to the Telegraph UK. His attempted lob of Hennessey was poorly executed and held by the goalkeeper.


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