Last update02:06:32 PM

Today Live:

Chelsea edge Palace as both sides see red

Oscar and Cesc Fabregas scored sublime goals as Premier League leaders Chelsea overcame troublesome obstacles in winning a fiery derby with Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park.

Diego Costa, scorer of nine goals in his first seven league games, was missing after persistent hamstring trouble in the opening weeks of the season, but Chelsea coped with the 32 million pound Spain striker's absence.

A brilliant early free-kick by Oscar, excellent throughout, took the pressure off Loic Remy, Costa's deputy, who was making his first Premier League start for Chelsea.

And Damien Delaney gave the visitors an escape when he received a second booking just three minutes after Cesar Azpilicueta had been sent off for a reckless two-footed lunge on Mile Jedinak.

Fabregas struck six minutes into the second half after playing return passes with Eden Hazard and then Oscar to surge into the area for his first league goal for unbeaten Chelsea.

The Blues were content to keep possession but were made to sweat in sealing a seventh win from eight games this term as Fraizer Campbell tucked in late on.

It was at places like Palace last season that Chelsea's title challenge faltered, but Jose Mourinho's men are a different proposition this term and maintained their five-point lead over defending champions Manchester City.

Chelsea face another test of their credentials at Manchester United next Sunday after the midweek Champions League clash with Maribor.

John Terry started as Chelsea captain for the 500th time, having scored the own goal in March which saw the Eagles claim their solitary win over the Blues in their previous 14 meetings.

Mourinho insists this term the Blues have the "balls" lacking at Selhurst Park seven months ago after beginning the season by dropping two points.

Palace were prepared to test the theory, applying early pressure, with Campbell and Yannick Bolasie causing trouble for the visiting defence.

Thibaut Courtois scrambled clear a corner ahead of Brede Hangeland and Chelsea's counter-attack was halted when Delaney fouled Willian 25 yards out in the right channel.

From the 'wrong' side for a right-foot shot, Oscar swept in a stunning free-kick into the opposite corner.

That settled the visitors and Remy, who had made a tentative start in coming into a line-up designed around Costa.

Campbell continued to pester as Palace played on the break.

Cahill failed to deal with a bouncing long Delaney ball which allowed Campbell to flick it towards goal, only to land on the roof of the net.

The striker then fired narrowly wide across goal after running at Cahill.

Courtois then plucked Bolasie's attempted chip out of the air.

They were warning shots for Chelsea, who saw Terry's header from a corner scrambled clear.

Jedinak's timing was spot on as he tackled Hazard on the edge of the Palace box before Terry slid in late on Campbell, perhaps in an attempt to slow the Palace striker. He avoided a yellow card.

Delaney was booked for protesting his innocence after he was adjudged to have fouled Remy, who went down despite limited contact.

Palace would not be cowed by Chelsea and Courtois parried a Jason Puncheon shot clear before the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Azpilicueta mis-controlled the ball then slid, late and with studs high, into a challenge with Jedinak.

The Spain full-back was sent off and Fabregas pulled Campbell to the ground in a resulting fracas after believing the Palace players persuaded referee Craig Pawson to dismiss his compatriot.

Fabregas and Campbell, who squared up to the Spaniard, were booked.

Filipe Luis replaced Willian as Mourinho made an immediate change, but Palace's numerical advantage was extinguished when Delaney needlessly pulled back Remy and received a second yellow card.

A lone pitch invader was hurried away by stewards before Nemanja Matic headed narrowly wide from a set-piece.

Chelsea did not have long to wait for a second on the resumption as a clinical, flowing move saw Fabregas combine with Hazard and Oscar.

Fabregas sauntered in behind James McArthur, playing as a makeshift right-back in a reorganised Eagles defence, before executing a composed finish.

Chelsea were happy to keep possession and, try as they might, Palace were unable to win the ball back.

McArthur went off injured and, such was Chelsea's dominance of the ball against nine men, it took an age for Adlene Guedioura to come on in his place.

The visitors picked their moments to go up a gear as Hazard shot wide across goal and Oscar had an effort saved by Julian Speroni.

A Hazard lapse presented the ball to Campbell, who fed Bolasie, but Cahill's covering tackle spared the Belgian.

Campbell tucked in substitute Wilfried Zaha's low cross to set up a nervy stoppage time but that was as good as it got for the Eagles as the Blues won, again.