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Leaders Chelsea stunned by Palace

Premier League

LONDONCrystal Palace checked Chelsea’s progress towards the Premier League title on Saturday, with goals from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke earning them a shock 2-1 win over their London rivals.

Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring for Chelsea, who had not lost at home since September, tapping in from an Eden Hazard cross in the fifth minute.

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Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the winner against Chelsea. Photo: Hannah McKay, Reuters

But speedy Palace, who had won their previous three games to climb away from the relegation zone, hit back with two in two minutes – Zaha angling a shot through Chelsea’s defence to equalise and then feeding Benteke, who chipped home.

Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey made a series of fine saves behind a well-organised defence to deny waves of attacking moves from the league leaders.

The defeat allowed second-placed Tottenham Hotspur to move to within seven points of Chelsea with nine games remaining.

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