Chelsea snatched a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday courtesy of an 89th minute strike by Hakim Ziyech as the newly crowned world champions returned to winning ways in the Premier League after nearly a month’s absence.
Ziyech kept his eye on a looping cross by substitute Marcos Alonso and calmly side-footed in the volley at the far post to give Chelsea the win that they had looked unlikely to claim for much of the match.
Chelsea, who last weekend won the FIFA World Club Cup and next weekend face Liverpool in the League Cup final, have struggled to get the best out of record signing Romelu Lukaku and he mostly cut a lonely figure once again.
The win left Chelsea seven points behind second-placed Liverpool who beat Norwich City and 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City who play Tottenham Hotspur later on Saturday. Palace sit in 13th place.