Football: Palace stun Chelsea as slick City set club record

Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward (fifth left) scores his team's second goal.
Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward (fifth left) scores his team's second goal.AFP
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (right) in action against Watford.
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (right) in action against Watford.AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho suffered only his second Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge as Crystal Palace clinched a shock 2-1 win over the spluttering champions on Saturday.

Mourinho was taking charge of his 100th home fixture in England’s top-flight, but Palace ensured that milestone won’t be remembered with any fondness by the Portuguese coach as they inflicted his first league loss on home soil since Sunderland’s victory in April 2014.

It was the latest setback for Mourinho’s side, winners only once in their first four matches and already languishing eight points behind leaders Manchester City, who extended the last 100 per cent record in the top tier with a 2-0 win against Watford at Eastlands.

“Palace gave us a very difficult game but the result should be a draw, which would still be bad for us,” Mourinho said.

“We created lots of chances but we had a couple of players who were not in the game.”

Just seconds after clearing a Gary Cahill header off the line, Mali forward Bakary Sako struck at the other end, sweeping high into the net from Yannick Bolasie’s cross to give Palace a 65th minute lead.

Colombia’s Radamel Falcao looked to have rescued a point for Chelsea when the on-loan Monaco striker headed in a Pedro Rodriguez cross for his first goal for the Blues in the 79th minute.

However, parity was short-lived as defender Joel Ward headed home from Sako’s cross in the 81st minute to give second placed Palace their first win at the Bridge since 1982.

At Eastlands, Raheem Sterling’s first goal for City since his £49 million pre-season switch from Liverpool broke Watford’s stubborn resistance in the 47th minute as the England winger stabbed in Bacary Sagna’s cross.

Fernandinho bagged City’s second goal in the 56th minute, the Brazilian lashing home after a one-two with David Silva to seal a club record 10th successive league win dating back to last season.

“You can’t expect to win the game inside 45 minutes against a team who defends well. We made some changes and we created more chances and won the game,” manager Manuel Pellegrini said.