Mark Bright has given his views on the Eagles' narrow defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, which saw the Blues clinch the Premier League title.
In the end we have to congratulate our opponents Chelsea for winning the Premier League title for the fourth time in their history.
For us it was our third straight defeat after four wins in a row, although the end result is zero points from a possible nine, the performance was better from Palace than it was against both Hull City and West Bromwich Albion.
How does a Palace team that fielded a starting eleven costing £26.9m compete with one that’s been assembled for a whopping £169m?
Our whole team cost less than three Chelsea players' individual transfer fees: Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Willian. Our manager was the only one left this season who could have done the double over Jose Mourinho’s team, having been one of two teams who have beaten Chelsea this season, when he was at Newcastle.
Pards tried a different lineup, trying out a 4-4-1-1 formation with Adrian Mariappa coming in at right back, Joel Ward moving to left back, central midfield was Joe Ledley and James McArthur, Punch played wide on the right with Wilf on the left and Jordan Mutch playing off Yannick who played down the centre in the No. 9 position.
I think Pards thought that Mourinho would be ready for our diagonal balls to Glenn up front, the Gary Cahill and John Terry partnership are the strength of the best defence in the Premier league (27 goals conceded), so I think Pards wanted to use Yala as someone who could possibly cause them a problem, if he could turn and run at them. Chelsea played quite slowly and their build up play is less dynamic than it was at the start of the season, when they scored 26 goals in their opening ten matches, but the quality is there for all to see from back to front.
There wasn’t a lot to shout about in the first 45 minutes, as we defended more solidly than the last two games, the penalty was more of a collision that Hazard instigated rather than a foul by one of our players, he went for it and got it. It was harsh in my opinion, but when you’re at home and the crowd are baying for a goal, every challenge is appealed for. Julian was unlucky with Hazard’s penalty, as he tucked away the rebound.
Having got that important first half goal, Mourinho wasted no time in switching his midfield around, off came Juan Cuadrado and on came John Obi Mikel to help Nemanja Matic in the central areas. That then allowed Azpilicueta and Ivanovic a chance to push on into our half and gave them a more solid foundation in which to keep the ball comfortably, with Fabregas, Hazard and Willian allowed more offensive roles with the two holding midfielders protecting their back four.
The manager threw on Glenn first then Yaya ten minutes later to try and get some joy with a pair up front, with Yala and Wilf in the wide areas.
The mention of players 'having their flip flops on' in the previous two games is slightly insulting to say the least. Anyone who has watched the team play this season will tell you, that the only way our team can get results is if everyone, and I mean everyone, is at it. The very reason we wanted to gain promotion was to play against the best teams in this country, over the last 23 season’s Chelsea have won 4 titles and our next opponents have won 13, the dominant force of the Premier League era, Manchester United. I can’t wait.