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.