Sparky Tips Chelsea for the Title
Back in the days when Tony Pulis was in charge of Stoke City the Potteries club were acknowledged as being a physical team with a rough edge.
When Mark Hughes took over, the style was slightly changed, the side, as we saw yesterday, retains that physical element that makes you fear for your sides safety, but there is also a smattering of skill in the side.
Ahead of the fixture I`d labelled Stoke as a side that can blow hot and cold, yesterday their performance was somewhere in between.
After the game, Hughes, who has good memories of his time at Chelsea, had some words of praise for his old side but also pondered how he thought his own side were hard done by, remarking to the media,
'We are desperately disappointed we did not get anything out of the game. The ball dropped kindly for them and they got the winner. It was an evenly matched game and they had late opportunities when we went for a goal.
'It is Chelsea's title now and you could see from their celebrations we ran them close.
'We kept on going, kept on moving the ball but there was a suggestion for a red card for our penalty. It was a little bit feisty, we gave everything and I cannot criticise our players.
'We had a goal disallowed and the player made a meal of the slight push. He was not affecting Bruno Martins Indi getting to the ball.
'We have given a good account against the champions elect."
And on Diego Costa, who was kicked from pillar-to-post and worked hard to keep that famous temper in control, Hughes added,
'Diego Costa draws fouls and tries to make most of contact - when they are not fouls. He is adept at the dark arts and everyone in football recognises that. He has many elements and factors, you have to put up with them.'
A tinge of greenness there Sparky?