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Stoke City 1 Chelsea 2

Stoke City 1 Chelsea 2

A battling display from Chelsea saw them establish a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Saturday night.

Antonio Conte now knows that his Chelsea side need to win just 21 points of the last 30 available to claim his first Premier League title in his first season in English football.

Chelsea`s starting eleven, or bench didn`t include the wizard that is Eden Hazard with the player not making the trip due to a slight muscle problem.

As we predicted before kick-off, gaining a victory against Stoke was never going to easy with Stoke`s physicality knocking Chelsea out of their stride, as one Vital Chelsea member coolly remarked, they half-suspected the team in red and white shirts to pick the ball up and dive over the line to score a try!

Our hosts got off to a good start but Chelsea weathered the storm to take the lead when, from a free-kick from a wide position, Willian, instead of floating a ball into the plethora of players lurking in the penalty box, spotted a gap at the near post and squeezed a shot in at the near post.

The general consensus of opinion from the TV punditry was that the Stoke keeper, Lee Grant, should have done better, but perhaps the ingenuity of Willian should be admired.

After the goal Chelsea looked comfortable but Mark Hughes` Stoke side started to ease their way back into the game. Stoke thought they`d equalised when the ball was stabbed over the line, but the eagle-eyed referee`s assistant had spotted a deliberate push on Cesar Azpilicueta

Unfortunately Stoke were to draw level before halftime when the referee adjudged Gary Cahill to have pushed Jon Walters as Stoke floated another aerial ball into the area, it looked to be a harsh call.

Walters took responsibility for the penalty and drove it past Thibaut Courtois to make the score 1-1 at half-time.

The second half saw both teams have dominant spells but it was always Chelsea that created the chances.

An audacious free-kick from David Luiz, who had survived a nasty clash of heads in the first-half to continue playing, tested Grant from all of forty-five yards and the keeper did well to scoop the ball up at the second attempt.

Alonso, lurking on the edge of the area for another free-kick, saw his wonderful effort crash against the cross-bar and it looked as if the honours, at the Bet365 Stadium were to be shared.

However, cometh the hour cometh the hero. Cahill, having conceded the penalty in the first half, was the quickest to react, with three minutes to go, smashing home a loose ball from eight yards out.

Chelsea celebrated manically whilst Antonio Conte swung on the dug-out roof, Chelsea had the three points and this win was a giant step towards winning the 2016 / 2017 Premier League title, our fate really is in our own hands.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Merlin
Date:Sunday March 19 2017
Time: 9:20AM

Comments

0
Continued ruthlessness and winning streak. Whats not to love about this season. A very tough game, weldone to diego, man took quite a beating for the team. We kept pushing for the goal and doesnt the ball just know how to fall for Cahill in all the right places in the box? Enjoyed the goal and end of match celebration. I hope hazard and moses recover 100% quickly. Next 6matches will see us play citeh, manU and everton, i will like to beat manU again. After all said and done, conte hanging down from the roof of dugout to celebrate cahill's goal shows some genuine passion and that he enjoys the game like a fan. What a man. :-)
kolagold25
19/03/2017 09:43:00
0
We knew it was going to be a scrappy,gritty game and we was right. Not all games can be flowing,fast passing,long dribbles kinda football. Theres times when you gotta dig in, stand yer ground and wait for your chances. While Gazza got us our goal back hes showing that its time we had an upgrade. If we could purely use him for set pieces then fine but unfortunately we need more from our CBs than he brings. As for the Dons celebrating - just watch him when we lift that PL winners cup! His head will explode next season when we rule Europe ----- AGAIN!!!
Unionjack
19/03/2017 13:24:00
0
Hoping the boys replicate this form or even better against Palace & City after return from Int'l break & win those six points. Both will be tough matches as big Sam will pack the bus while Pep is predictably all out attack. We need to maintain our composure & discipline & play to win with right attitude/clear focus & see how chasing pack take points off each other. KTBFFH!!!
Jerry Blues
20/03/2017 20:47:00
0
"After all said and done, conte hanging down from the roof of dugout to celebrate cahill's goal shows some genuine passion and that he enjoys the game like a fan. What a man." ***Can't put it any better @Kola like the stuff. Cheers!!!
Jerry Blues
20/03/2017 20:55:00
0
@jerry, thanks man :-) Talking about CP and Citeh i actually think citeh game comes easier. They have top players but heck they are very unbalanced. If we keep our shape and attack with intent like we have been doing, i honestly do not think they stand a chance. They are usually several mistakes from conceding a goal. However, till then.
kolagold25
21/03/2017 06:25:00
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