The fightback starts now! Zaha revels in Palace heroics
An elated Wilfried Zaha is confident Crystal Palace have begun the fightback after the returning winger inspired the Eagles to a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea.
Palace had failed to take a point or score a goal from seven Premier League matches before the visit of the champions to Selhurst Park, but Zaha – playing his first match since injuring his right knee on the first day of the season – scored on the stroke of half-time to end their wait.
The goal was fitting reward for a superb performance from Zaha, who alongside Andros Townsend gave the usually compact Chelsea defence a torrid afternoon, and the former Manchester United man reflected on a "dream" result.
"I'm so tired but it was all worth it for the win. We had to win," he was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"You never know in football - we had a game plan, worked hard and just took our chances.
IT'S ALL OVER!!!!
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) October 14, 2017
"The first goal was massive for our confidence - it was a massive boost for the team. My goal was at the right time too, because Chelsea were coming back. I'm buzzing to have scored it.
"Me and Andros Townsend aren't strikers so we run all over the gaff, but the boss told us that if one had the ball the other needs to get himself into the box.
"It's a dream, managing to beat Chelsea at home. Definitely, this is the start of a fightback - now we've got more confidence we can start to climb up the table."
For Chelsea, who had seen Tiemoue Bakayoko's first league goal for the Blues cancel out Cesar Azpilicueta's own goal, it marks a second straight defeat following the 1-0 reverse against Manchester City before the international break.
Antonio Conte's men – who now trail leaders City by nine points – lost Victor Moses to injury to add to a growing list of absentees that includes N'Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Alvaro Morata, but captain Gary Cahill says the team can have no excuses.
"People came back [from international duty at] different times in the week, it's not ideal for the manager, [but] we need to be ready and more lively than that," he told Sky Sports.
"Today, the basics - second balls things like that we were missing out on. It's unlike us.
"We've not had the best of luck, you've seen Victor Moses today, it looks like a hamstring, we're in a difficult moment losing vital players, and it's not a huge squad.
"But you have to produce a lot better than we produced today."