Chelsea struggled to break Palace down for much of a frustrating opening half, but they nudged ahead with their first shot on target in the 32nd minute.
Maurizio Sarri admits he will have to start rotating his star players over the festive period if he is to achieve Chelsea's desire for success in both the Premier League and Europe.
69- Goal! Game over!
MF Jorginho, 7 - Was slightly at fault for Palace's goal as James McArthur slipped in Townsend from the space he usually occupies, but the Italy global kept Chelsea's passing and pressing ticking over while making a few more interceptions than usual to snuff out counter-attacks.
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Now for Crystal Palace! .
Ross Barkley is also set for a recall after being rested in midweek and the former Everton midfielder will be looking to maintain his impressive form of late.
Morata missed a hat-trick opportunity when played through by Hazard on the counter-attack in stoppage time. Eden Hazard is likely to return to the side, whilst Wilfred Zaha should be back for the Eagles after knocking his shoulder against Arsenal. A win or draw today will mean that Chelsea will be eleven games undefeated in the league.
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Towards full-time, Chelsea made it three when Pedro thumped a low from the centre of the box after a low and hard cross.
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But it should be Chelsea's game if the Sarri system continues to roll on, with another performance from the Blues similar to the one they showed against Burnley last time out.
Granted, those were against Liverpool and Manchester United, but had they thrown away more points after going in front, as they looked in danger of doing when Townsend levelled the scores, questions might have been asked about their mental fortitude.
As Sarrismo has Chelsea applying constant pressure on opposition defences, the Blues have nearly always managed to get at exhausted opponents as the game goes on - as shown with Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser against Manchester United.
"Hazard is Hazard, he is able to do it very often".
Key Stat: Chelsea have scored more goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season than any other side (10).
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