Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace: 5 Talking Points
Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners against Crystal Palace on Sunday during their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge as they leapfrogged Liverpool on goal difference to secure second place in the table. Maurizio Sarri's men showed tremendous character to come out on top in the end despite not quite hitting their lofty standards in what proved to be a sluggish first half performance.
Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, after getting on the end of a cut-back from Pedro, to give the hosts an advantage while heading into the half-time interval. However, the visitors took advantage of Chelsea's slow start in the second half through Andros Townsend's equalizer in the 53rd minute, but the celebrations did not last too long either.
Morata restored Chelsea's lead in the 65th minute when Eden Hazard, who came on as a second-half substitute, delivered a well-worked set-piece routine towards the far post for the Spaniard to bag his brace on the night. The Blues completed the rout just five minutes later through Pedro, who deservedly got on the end of a low cross from Marcos Alonso to highlight his impressive outing with a goal.
The result meant that Chelsea continue to remain in touching distance with Manchester City and helped them push ahead of Liverpool on goal difference. Without further delay, let's take a closer look at the major talking points from the game:
#1 The records continue to tumble under Maurizio Sarri
Perhaps no other set of fans or group of players are so used to adapting themselves to the ways of a new manager as those at Chelsea over the years, thanks to Roman Abramovich's relentless quest for perfection. Maurizio Sarri, the latest candidate to have occupied the hot-seat at Stamford Bridge, has taken very little or not time at all to get used to the demands of the Premier League.
The Italian has forged together a commendable 11-game unbeaten run in the Premier League since taking over in west London and equalled Frank Clark's record dating back to 1994 with Nottingham Forest for the longest undefeated start for a new manager in the top-flight.
Chelsea are also the first team in Europe to complete more than 7000 passes across all competitions after they racked up an impressive 800 passes - the highest by any team in England this weekend - during their win over Palace on Sunday.
The early signs continue to remain positive for Sarri as he looks determined to outshine every single one of his predecessors at the club with his exciting brand of football.