London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Fernando Torres and Ramires scored as Chelsea moved up to second in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
The victory, Chelsea’s seventh in eight home matches, helped Jose Mourinho’s side to move two points behind leader Arsenal, which suffered an embarrassing 6-3 defeat to Manchester City early in the day.
“It is tense because you feel the chances you lose, and that you could kill your opponent. After that when you don’t and when you’re not in the best place of your game your opponent can punish you,” Mourinho said.
Petr Cech replaced veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer as Mourinho made six changes to the Chelsea side which defeated Steaua Bucharest Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League.
Crystal Palace left-back Dean Moxey was ruled out with a hamstring problem, so Adrian Mariappa came into the starting line-up.
Torres scored his first goal since October in the 16th minute to put Chelsea in front but in-form striker Marouane Chamakh scored his third goal in as many games to tie the game.
Ramires notched his first Premier League goal of the season with a fine strike in the 35th minute to restore Chelsea’s advantage that it kept until the final whistle.
Despite the defeat, which kept Palace in the relegation zone, manager Tony Pulis was impressed with his wards’ performance.
“We were a little on the back foot in the first half but in the second we pushed up and to be in the game for 94 minutes is testament to the effort,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manchester City moved three points behind leader Arsenal with an impressive 6-3 win at Etihad Stadium while Everton barged into the top four with a 4-1 win over Fulham.
Southampton claimed their first Barclays Premier League point at St James’ Park since 2001 with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United while Cardiff City snapped a five-match winless streak with a hard-fought 1-0 success over West Bromwich Albion.
In the remaining matches West Ham United were held to a goalless stalemate by bottom side Sunderland, while Stoke City also shared a 0-0 draw at Hull City.