The Premier League’s title race has its unanticipated twist. Chelsea, untouchable for so long at the top of this division and a side who had won 13 games in a row at home, succumbed here to a team who have spent almost the entire campaign submerged in the grind of a relegation battle. For the second season in succession, this corner of south-west London has been conquered by Crystal Palace.
It was arguably a victory far more impressive than last season’s success against a Chelsea teams showing the early signs of crisis under José Mourinho last term, given that it was chiselled out against the top flight’s previously irrepressible force. Antonio Conte has spent the last few months preaching caution, insisting the title has not yet been secured, and this was evidence to prove him right. Their lead over Tottenham Hotspur has been trimmed to seven points, still a chasm of sorts, but Manchester City visit on Wednesday. The recovery from the stumble must be immediate.