Crystal Palace ended the worst-ever start to a Premier League season and condemned champions Chelsea to their second successive defeat with a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.Palace had made unwanted history by losing their opening league games without scoring a goal but produced a much-improved performance as manager Roy Hodgson claimed his first win since replacing Frank de Boer last month.Chelsea have now lost three of their first eight league games and fallen nine points adrift of leaders Manchester City.A scrappy Cesar Azpilicueta own-goal handed Palace the lead in the 11th minute, but Chelsea levelled seven minutes later when Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in a Cesc Fabregas corner.Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, on his return from injury, restored the home side’s lead with a close-range shot on the stroke of halftime, and a lacklustre Chelsea were unable to equalise.”That was really enjoyable,” Hodgson said. “I have just said to the players that they really deserve to drink in that victory, because we played the champions of England but came off the field today having deserved our victory.”Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted his side had been hampered by the absence of striker Alvaro Morata and midfielder N’Golo Kante and the loss of Victor Moses to injury midway through the first half.”We started very badly and it was a very difficult day,” Conte said. “But we need also to understand the situation and to continue to work, to find solutions despite our injuries.”
Morata Chelsea should keep faith in Morata, says Flo Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent 20:02 2/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Morata Chelsea Olivier Giroud Premier League The Blues legend has backed the injured striker who is pushing for a return for the Champions League games against Barcelona Alvaro Morata has been backed to get back among the goals by former Chelsea striker Tore Andre Flo.Morata’s absence has hurt Chelsea in recent weeks, with the Spain international aiming to recover from a back injury in time for the Champions League games versus Barcelona next week. Though Morata has not scored in his last six appearances for Chelsea, Flo thinks the former Real Madrid forward is being judged too harshly and that he will make the same impact he did earlier in the season upon his return. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Not only just because I work here, but I would really defend him any day,” Flo, who played more than 150 games for the Blues, said at the launch of the Chelsea Legends match. “He is a very, very good player, I really like him. If he gets a good delivery he is so good in front of goal. I like the way he moves in the build-up and all that.“But, obviously, it is tough coming to the Premier League and some games he found it tough. But I think now, when he also has someone else in as well, then hopefully we could see two strikers every now and then. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”Flo now works as a coach in Chelsea’s youth teams but he is returning to play at Stamford Bridge in the summer as part of Chelsea’s legendary side that won the League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup in 1998. The Norwegian is joined by Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise, Graeme Le Saux and player-manager Gianluca Vialli in the Chelsea team which will face Inter Forever, who will have the likes of Javier Zanetti, Youri Djorkaeff and Francesco Toldo available, on May 18.Chelsea’s current striking options were boosted by the £18 million signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal on transfer deadline day and Flo is happy that manager Antonio Conte will have more options in attack. “I think you get someone there that can change up the way you play a bit,” Flo said of Giroud. “Obviously he is tall, and he can be in there to head it or take down balls from the back.“Yeah, so we will have to just wait and see how he uses him. Now he has got more options on how to change the way he plays.”Flo’s 1998 team paved the way for Roman Abramovich’s 2003 takeover as Chelsea fans dreamed of winning their first top-flight title since 1955 after the cup successes. Zola was one of Flo’s strike partners and he believes that the Italian is the best forward to wear the Chelsea shirt, although he believes Eden Hazard is also right up there with him. “If I can mention Zola as someone to mention, then I would mention him any day,” Flo continued. “He was the best player that I have played with and, if I was a supporter, then I would have loved to have watched him play.“If Eden Hazard is a striker then he is also one of my favourites, if we can call him a striker.”Tickets are on sale for season ticket holders for Chelsea Legends versus Inter Forever, with members tickets going on sale on Wednesday, and then general sale will open on Friday. The match will be £20 for adults and £10 for concessions.