Chelsea 1-0 Stoke - So much better than last week!

If anything it was a better performance also. Let's not forget here that Stoke came with a game plan to get men behind the ball, make i...

If anything it was a better performance also. Let's not forget here that Stoke came with a game plan to get men behind the ball, make it difficult for Chelsea to break them down and look to hit us with something from a set piece. When they went down to ten men, believe it or not it was even harder.

We have seen this happen over the last couple of seasons and have seen us really struggle to break these teams down and have dropped points because of it. Thankfully enough, Didier Drogba's 100 Premier League goal from a cracking pass from Juan Mata, won us the game and we deserved it.

Once again, Di Matteo surprised us with his selection yesterday. Restored to the starting line up were the likes of JT, Cole and Frank Lampard with Ramires once again asked to play down the right. With JT coming back in, David Luiz was dropped to the bench but came on in the second half as a right back which is where I believe he could fit in for the remainder of the season.

Looking at the game, Stoke hardly created anything of note really now did they? Cameron Jerome had a chance he blazed wide in the second half but apart from that Petr Cech wasn't stretched at all. Chelsea hit the woodwork three times from Ivanovic and Cahill in the first half and Juan Mata in the second half. Begovic also made two brilliant saves to deny Cahill and Drogba.

JT and Cahill looked quite good together with Cahill coming round on the cover to close attacks down AND creating problems for Stoke in their own box too as he headed a corner down into the floor and then onto the crossbar. He also forced Begovic into a save with a great shot from outside the box.

With Ricardo Fuller being sent off for Stoke after an act of stupidity, credit to Di Matteo for making a bold decision to replace a holding midfielder in Meireles with Juan Mata after about 30-35 minutes of the game gone in the first half. Most managers would have maybe waited until half time but Di Matteo wanted to take the game to Stoke and we did that.

Two freekicks from Drogba and Mata nearly came off as Begovic once again made a great save to deny Drogba and Mata's free kick smacked against the post and out of danger. Along with Cahill and Mata, Ivanovic had also struck the woodwork in the first half after a bad clearance from the Stoke defence came to him inside the box, he chested the ball down and smacked a volley towards goal with the keeper beaten.

All in all Chelsea dominated the game, looked as though they were moving the ball quicker, creating chances again and looked together which is a 100% improvement on this time last week against West Brom.

That's two wins out of two for Di Matteo and two clean sheets. It's better all round so far but again is important to not get too carried away. We're now only four points behind Spurs with them to play soon along with Man City and we need to continue to improve on each performance game by game.

Things are finally beginning to look better after a difficult week but the most important thing is that the players look like they want to play for the manager again and for each other.

Onwards and upwards!

Ch1St0Hig by maidb7abc


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