Who saw Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace coming? If you answered anything other than ‘not me’, we suspect you’re lying, given the sheer disbelief as Sam Allardyce’s Eagles went to the home of the champions-elect and put in a stunner of a performance to come away with a vital win.
The south London outfit fell behind early on and many suspected it would be another routine win for the Blues, but Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha inspired a superb comeback that, if Manchester City can do the same this week, may just be the catalyst to blowing the title race wide open late on.
While the aforementioned pair were probably the pick of the performers in Palace’s yellow away shirt, Mamadou Sakho at the back once again proved his worth. The Frenchman has been truly excellent since his winter loan arrival and it would come as a shock if Liverpool, his parent club, were not watching with great interest, while Southampton, who are reportedly keen on him, might well have been wowed on Saturday too.
Sakho recorded the highest pass completion of any Palace player to play the full 90 minutes, somewhat dispelling the myth he’s a mistake-merchant with the ball at his feet, while also being heavily involved in play with 38 touches. Defensively he was impressive also, nine clearances being the most of any player on the pitch and his five interceptions illustrating his good reading of the game.
From being unwanted at Liverpool earlier this season, Sakho may well be one of the most sought-after stars going this summer, even with the manager, Jurgen Klopp, that wrote him off.