Chelsea make it 11, Ibra lifts Man Utd
Star striker, Diego Costa earned Chelsea a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday as the Premier League leaders claimed a club record-equalling 11th consecutive league victory.
Costa headed home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 43rd minute at a foggy Selhurst Park to send Antonio Conte’s men nine points clear.
“The run is fantastic,” said Chelsea manager Conte. “Congratulations to my players, not me. I am pleased for them because they deserve this.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Manchester United won 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion, while champions Leicester City weathered the dismissal of Jamie Vardy to come from 2-0 down and draw 2-2 at Stoke City.
Chelsea have matched their record of 11 consecutive wins from April to September 2009, achieving the feat within the same season for the first time.
The only blemishes were yellow cards for Costa and N’Golo Kante that mean both players will be suspended for next weekend’s home game against Bournemouth.
Narrowly beaten 2-1 by Manchester United in mid-week, Palace threatened to take the lead against Chelsea when Jason Puncheon scuffed wide from Martin Kelly’s cross.
The visitors went in front shortly before half-time after Eden Hazard sprayed a pass wide to Azpilicueta, whose floated cross allowed Costa to nod in his 13th goal of the campaign.
Marcos Alonso struck the bar with a late free-kick, but Costa’s goal proved sufficient.
Chelsea are nine points clear of second-place Liverpool, who visit Everton on Monday, and Arsenal, who travel to fourth-place Manchester City on Sunday.
“We can improve though,” Conte added. “It is important to understand we are only at the 17th game in the season. We must not look at the table.”
Jose Mourinho’s United drew level on points with fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur, who host Burnley on Sunday, after winning at West Brom to record three successive league wins for the first time since August.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a header from Jesse Lingard’s fine right-wing cross at the conclusion of a magnificent team move.
After Ben Foster had pushed a shot from Wayne Rooney onto the bar, Ibrahimovic added a second in the 56th minute.