Jamie Redknapp reacts to defender’s performance in Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

The former Liverpool midfielder delivers his verdict on Chelsea's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

Jamie Redknapp singled out Cesar Azpilicueta for special praise after Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Diego Costa broke the deadlock in the first half with a close-range header after Azpilicueta picked out his compatriot with a superb cross.

Marcos Alonso forced a good save from Wayne Hennessey in the second half before the Chelsea left-back hit the woodwork in the final 10 minutes.

Chelsea have now won their last 11 Premier League games to leave the Blues nine points clear of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Former Liverpool midfielder Redknapp was particularly impressed with Azpilicueta’s performance after the defender’s stunning assist for Costa.

“We’re in a day and age where we talk about ball playing centre-halves and ball playing goalkeepers,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“This guy is a great example to young players that not only can you be good on the ball, but you can be diligent and aggressive in your defending. You can get forward with the ball when you have to. He never lost a challenge against Christian Benteke. He is such a clever defender.”

Costa took his tally to 13 goals in 17 Premier League games in the current campaign after his impressive start to the season.

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Chelsea are nine points ahead of their closest title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool after winning their last 11 Premier League games.

Conte’s side will host Bournemouth in their next Premier League game at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

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