Essien scores on Chelsea return

LONDON - Michael Essien scored the winner in his first Chelsea appearance since December in a 1-0 friendly win over Championship side Crystal Palace on Saturday.

A knee injury meant the Ghana midfielder missed most of Chelsea's Premier League and FA Cup double last season and the entire World Cup in South Africa.

GEAR: Get an Essien shirt

"It feels good, it's been a long time but I am back in full training now, everything is good and there is no reaction from the training, so things are looking good for me," Essien told the club's website.

The 27-year-old, who started in a side made up mostly of reserve team players, scored against second-division Palace after an hour with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area. He was substituted immediately afterwards.

The majority of Chelsea's first team is still on vacation following World Cup duties.

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