Chelsea late show deepens Crystal Palace crisis

CONOR Gallagher struck twice to condemn his former club Crystal Palace to a dam­aging 3-1 defeat on Monday and keep Chelsea in the hunt for European football next season.


The injury-ravaged Ea­gles were on course for a huge win in their battle to remain in the Premier League when Jefferson Lerma’s long-range strike opened the scoring.


But Palace have won just three times in 19 games and were undone late on after Gal­lagher equalized within two minutes of the second half.


Gallagher fired home his second of the night and Enzo Fernandez added the third in stoppage time to lift Chelsea up to 10th and within two points of seventh.


Defeat leaves Palace still just five points above the rele­gation zone in 15th.


“It was extremely cruel but the game is about goals and unfortunately we made mistakes which led to goals,” said under fire Palace boss Roy Hodgson.


The home side were dec­imated by key injuries with all three of their star players Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Marc Guehi ruled out. Hodgson and the club’s board are under attack from the fans and banners held up before kick-off took aim at a “weak club culture” and “weak trans­fer policy”. — AFP