Crystal Palace were second best, admits Roy Hodgson

Palace lost 1-0 to Chelsea in their Premier League clash at Selhurst Park

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson admitted his side were second best in their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League

Roy Hodgson said Chelsea were the better team and deserved their 1-0 victory over his Crystal Palace side at Selhurst Park.

A second-half strike from N'Golo Kante saw Chelsea claim the three points from a game in which Palace were restricted to just a few late efforts.

Hodgson was pleased with the effort from his side but admitted Chelsea were better, telling Sky Sports: "I thought we worked as hard as we could work and we were playing a very good team who made it difficult for us to disturb their passing rhythm

Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace shakes hands with Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea FC at Selhurst Park on December 30, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
Image: Roy Hodgson greets Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri prior to the match

"I thought they were very good on the ball, but I thought our discipline, particularly in the first half, was very good. We kept them in front of us, they had a lot of the ball but they weren't creating chances.

"But when they score the goal, everything changes. We've then got two options - fly at it like we did in the final 15 minutes, and run the risk of conceding two, three or four, or to keep it tight for a little bit longer in the hope that you'll then create something, or the ball will fall your way and you would get what would have been an undeserved point.

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Highlights from Chelsea's win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

"So I don't know if we could have done much more in terms of our approach to the game. We played against a very good side and they were much better than we were."

Crystal Palace nearly nicked a point in the 89th minute when Connor Wickham fired over the crossbar from close range, and Hodgson tried to see the positives in defeat.

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"There were a couple of moments," he said. "I thought we had the ball in their final third a lot more and we were trying our very best to find that opening, but, unfortunately, in one or two moments our technique let us down in those areas.

Jorginho challenges Andros Townsend for possession
Image: Crystal Palace had a few late chances at Selhurst Park

"But at least we produced a few clearances that went our way for throw-ins. We had the goalkeeper wasting time and not kicking the ball out of the penalty area so I suppose that's something positive.

"But there is not very much positive I can say today. A 1-0 defeat is a 1-0 defeat and they aren't positive things, even though it came against a team that most people would expect to beat us.

"We don't go on the field expecting to be beaten, we go on the field thinking we can get a result from the game and at half-time, I still believed that it was possible.

"But at 1-0, we didn't have the wherewithal to disturb them enough to win the ball from them and to get enough possession of the ball ourselves to make certain we could create some chances. So, today, we have to accept we were beaten by a better team."

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