London: Guus Hiddink enjoyed his first victory since taking over as Chelsea interim manager as the troubled Premier League champions crushed Crystal Palace 3-0 yesterday.

Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink

After draws against Watford and Manchester United following his arrival as short-term replacement for the sacked Jose Mourinho, Hiddink was at last able to celebrate three points at Selhurst Park.

Oscar opened the scoring in the first half before Willian's cracker and a Diego Costa strike extended Chelsea's unbeaten run since Mourinho's departure to four matches.

In such turmoil for much of a season ruined by the breakdown of Mourinho's relationship with his squad, the Blues are slowly getting back in the groove under Hiddink and moved six points clear of the relegation zone after their first away league success in eight attempts.

Chelsea players are ecstatic after scoring their third goal against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in south London yesterday. Pic/AFP
Chelsea players are ecstatic after scoring their third goal against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in south London yesterday. Pic/AFP

After climbing into contention for a European place, Palace's first defeat in seven matches left Alan Pardew's men without a win or a goal in their last three games. With torrential rain lashing Selhurst Park, Palace forward Wilfried Zaha went close early on with a low strike that skimmed off the slick pitch.

Eden Hazard saw a long-range effort deflected wide at the conclusion of Chelsea's first serious attack, but the Belgium playmaker began limping immediately after the shot.