All of the time: Terry Go Round

Happy times: Palace celebrate the winner over Chelsea, scored by the

Happy times: Palace celebrate the winner over Chelsea, scored by the "captain, leader, legend" SP81788

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Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

Last week I compared the 93rd and a half minute loss at Newcastle to physical pain.

By those terms, Saturday's victory against Chelsea was the total opposite- but what’s the opposite of a kick in the unmentionables? Not being kicked? Anyway, it feels glorious.

I first realised that the ball had flicked off John Terry's head for the goal when the Holmesdale began the "John Terry, scoring goals for Palace" chant at the end of the game.

Almost preferable to one of our team getting on the score sheet.

Captain. Leader. Legend.

Certainly a legendary moment for the Eagles. Our first win over the Russian west London club in the Premier League era – almost a quarter of a century – the first time we've beaten a top side this season, and, quite possibly, a deciding factor in the title race.

There was horrible confusion when the ball hit the back of the net. All around me were losing their minds, but a couple of us paused - Lee Mason seemed to be pointing at something.

Joe Ledley wasn't celebrating. We couldn't have actually scored, surely?

The players and the management might use the footballing cliché that every game from now until the end of the season is a cup final. But Saturday sort of felt like one.

With no actual rivals in our league this year I miss playing Brighton, Charlton and Millwall twice a season. Instead we're left with the rest of the top-flight London teams.

There's basically no feeling between us and Arsenal or Spurs. Maybe we don't get on with West Ham, but Chelsea is the most personally significant.

I guarantee you know more Chelsea fans than our three rivals combined. They don't stop going on about it. Plus it's been “proven” that 85 per cent of cab drivers support them. 

Then there's the fact Palace were framed as dramatic underdogs against the rich, powerful big boys. We'll be bound to that underdog narrative if we ever get to anther cup final too.

The nothing-to-lose pre-match atmosphere, the sun, the blue skies, it all felt like a cup final day as the team in red and blue strolled out against the side from the same city, with their billions and their manager's illustrious reputation. And we won.

Not only that, but we deserved it. It wasn't smash and grab, one chance, one set play, one moment. In fact we could have made it 2-0 about four times.

Croydon Guardian:

Whoops: Terry has that sinking feeling

Our entire 11 men - and the substitutes - played out of their skins.

There were stunning, important saves from our restaurateur, our right back at left back doing stepovers and almost supplying a goal with a clever diagonal through ball, Cameron Jerome and Jason Puncheon playing like their lives depended on it…

Every player I haven't mentioned putting in formidable, hungry, solid displays.

It was a real bonus in a very unpredictable season so far.

Nevertheless, against Chelsea it might have felt like a luxurious cup win we’ll remember for years, but in the short term it needs to be considered just another three points in the race for survival.

Next weekend against Cardiff we can return to giving the game the tired "six pointer" tag because it means so much more to our survival chances.

Not to mention the return of Wilfried.

Croydon Guardian:

Happy fans: It went crazy when Palace scored

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