By Clare Lovell
LONDON (Reuters) -An 89th-minute penalty from substitute Noni Madueke earned Chelsea a laboured 2-1 home victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League London derby on Wednesday.
Madueke was brought down by Eberechi Eze who caught the Chelsea midfielder’s trailing leg and, after initially waving play on, referee Michael Salisbury was called by VAR to the screen where he signalled a foul.
Palace’s Michael Olise had shown fine skill when unmarked at the far post he chested down Jordan Ayew’s pass and finished deftly past Djordje Petrovic in first-half stoppage time.
The goal cancelled out a 13th-minute strike from Chelsea forward Mykhailo Mudryk who turned in a low cross from Malo Gusto.
Mudryk looked lively in an energetic first-half display by the home side, but after the late goal and halftime break, Chelsea appeared to lose momentum.
Crystal Palace’s defence snuffed out attacks and Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea were often reduced to passing triangles outside their opponents’ area, though they did have a 76th-minute goal from Nicolas Jackson ruled out by VAR for offside.
“Credit to Crystal Palace, they played some good stuff and were difficult to break down,” Madueke told Amazon Prime. “But credit to us too, we deserved it.”
Chelsea squeezed into the top half of the table halfway through the season, reaching 10th while Palace, who have not won in the Premier League for eight games, remained in 15th place.
(Reporting by Clare Lovell, editing by Ed Osmond)