Chelsea late show deepens Crystal Palace crisis
Conor Gallagher struck twice to condemn his former club Crystal Palace to a damaging 3-1 defeat on Monday and keep Chelsea in the hunt for European football next season.
The injury-ravaged Eagles were on course for a huge win in their battle to remain in the Premier League when Jefferson Lerma's long-range strike opened the scoring.
But Palace have won just three times in 19 games and were undone late on after Gallagher equalised within two minutes of the second half.
Gallagher fired home his second of the night and Enzo Fernandez added the third in stoppage time to lift Chelsea up to 10th and within two points of seventh.
Defeat leaves Palace still just five points above the relegation zone in 15th.
?? More late drama. @ChelseaFC secure the win! #CRYCHE pic.twitter.com/Tfsltqj0S8
The home side were decimated by key injuries with all three of their star players Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Marc Guehi ruled out.
Manager Roy Hodgson and the club's board are under fire from the fans and banners held up before kick-off took aim at a "weak club culture" and "weak transfer policy."
But Palace more than held their own for the first 45 minutes thanks to another lacklustre Chelsea performance away from home.
Mauricio Pochettino had hailed his side's 3-1 FA Cup win at Aston Villa last week as his side's "best performance of the season."
However, it was back to the drawing board for the Argentine in the first half at Selhurst Park as Chelsea were pedestrian in possession and were punished.
Noni Madueke was easily bullied out of possession on the edge of his own box and the ball fell to Lerma to take aim and fire into the top corner beyond Djordje Petrovic.
It took until first-half stoppage time for Chelsea to even register a shot as