Crystal Palace 2 Chelsea 1: Returning Zaha has Eagles soaring at last

Wilfried Zaha returned to inspire Crystal Palace as the Eagles recorded their first goals and points of the season en route to consigning Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League defeats.

Flying winger Zaha injured his right knee during the opening-day defeat to Huddersfield Town and has been powerless as Palace lost their opening seven league matches without scoring a goal.

Another defeat to nil would have set an unwanted English league record at nine, including one at the end of last season, but Selhurst Park erupted early on when an Andros Townsend cross crept past Thibaut Courtois via a combination of Yohan Cabaye and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Tiemoue Bakayoko was given the freedom of the Palace area to head home his first Premier League goal and level the scores, but the influential Zaha – who was a menace throughout – restored Palace’s lead shortly before the break with a cool finish.

An inevitable second-half barrage arrived from Chelsea and Cesc Fabregas lashed an effort against the crossbar, but Palace clung on for a priceless victory.

It marks another disappointment for Antonio Conte, whose side were beaten 1-0 at home by Manchester City last time out and the Blues now trail Pep Guardiola’s league leaders by nine points.

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