Chelsea 1-0 Stoke - Match Report

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Barclay's Premier League to three points thanks to Ashley Cole's late strike. Oscar,...

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Barclay's Premier League to three points thanks to Ashley Cole's late strike.

Oscar, making his first domestic start this season, had several unsuccessful efforts on goal before the England left back finished off a wonderful Chelsea move with a neat finish after a sublime touch by Juan Mata.

Stoke City's best chance came in the first half when an unmarked Jon Walters rose above the Chelsea defence to glance a header off of Petr Cech's crossbar.

The result leaves the Potters in 13th place and still without a win under their belt.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said he was left disappointed in midweek after the Blues let a two goal lead against Juventus slip away from them at Stamford Bridge. Fresh off the back of these comments the Italian opted to leave John Terry and Frank Lampard on the bench for their encounter with Tony Pulis's side and replace them with Gary Cahill and Juan Mata.

The game began similarly to Wednesday's clash, with the hosts controlling the possession and restricting their opponents. Stoke were unable to really get a hold on the game as Di Matteo's side looked to iron out the defensive errors that cost them in their previous game.

Ramires, playing slightly more defensive alongside John Obi Mikel, looked to run from deep at the Stoke defence along with Eden Hazard as the Blues threatened from the off.

They could have taken the lead as well after just seven minutes but Fernando Torres was only able to nod Mata's corner over the crossbar.

Chelsea's passing in the middle of the field was fluid and had a good tempo about it, with Mikel and Ramires feeding balls into the lively figures of Hazard, Mata and Oscar. However the killer ball was something the hosts were lacking and they were unable to really penetrate the Stoke defence and test Asmir Begovic.

There was a sense of frustration around the ground as the home fans were becoming agitated at the Blues being unable to convert their build up play in to goals and they were nearly left fuming when Jon Walters was allowed to rise unmarked above the Chelsea defence and head against the crossbar. It was a warning sign for the home side and a reminder of the aerial threat that their opponents possessed.

As the Blues kept pushing they nearly broke the deadlock on 26 minutes. The impressive Mata found Torres with a delightful lofted through ball which the striker brought down superbly with his chest. He was unable to provide the finish though and Begovic was able to claim the ball.

David Luiz, Hazard, Oscar and Mata all had chances to put the hosts ahead but Stoke were able to keep it goalless and head in level at the break.

Oscar began the second half very brightly and was causing the Potters defence all sorts of problems with his pace and trickery. However, referee Michael Oliver deemed that the Brazilian dived upon breaking into the penalty area on 50 minutes and booked him for his troubles. He responded by sending a low left footed drive goalwards, only for Begovic to save.

Stoke continued to soak up the pressure and looked to hit the hosts on counter attack on the hour mark. Scotland international Charlie Adam opted to shoot when in truth there were better options on for him.

Both managers looked to change things and force their way in front and made substitutions just after the hour mark. Di Matteo opted to swap Hazard for Moses whilst Pulis threw on Michael Owen in place of Adam in an obvious attacking move.

It was the Chelsea substitute who looked most dangerous however. Moses's pace and power was a problem for Stoke and they couldn't seem to get near the Nigerian.

It was the same story for the hosts in front of goal in the second half, their neat build up play in vain as no one was able to provide the final ball for the hard working Torres. It seemed like it was going to be 'one of those days' for Chelsea as many supporters had seen enough, heading home early after deciding the game was a lost cause.

They will be kicking themselves however as the Blues finally made the breakthrough with just under five minutes to play with a well worked goal.

Frank Lampard, who had replaced Mikel moments earlier, played a ball wide out to Moses who played a cute ball to the feet of Ivanovic who ten picked out Juan Mata lurking in the Stoke penalty area. The little Spaniard executed the deftest of touches to divert the ball into the path of Ashley Cole who had surged up the field. Cole provided an exquisite chip to deceive the advancing Begovic.

Huge sighs of relief were breathed all round Stamford Bridge as the Blues had finally been rewarded for their intricate build up play. Di Matteo threw on John Terry in place of Mata as the hosts looked to secure their lead.

Stoke's frustration at conceding a late goal was evident as tempers began to flair. David Luiz's lunge on Jon Walters brought about a mass confrontation in which Terry and Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross had to calm their teammates down.

Things threatened to boil over again when Branislav Ivanovic and Stoke winger Matt Etherington were involved in a spat which was quickly resolved by the referee.

Things stayed as they were and Chelsea hung on for the three points. In reflection they were good for their win and looked the more threatening side throughout. The defensive errors that cost them on Wednesday night look to have been addressed as the European Champions were much more solid.

The Blues remain top of the league and host Wolves on Tuesday night in the Capital One cup where they will be looking to build on this win,


follow me on twitter @sebbudd

Chelsea: Cech (c), Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel (Lampard 81'), Ramires, Hazard (Moses 61'), Oscar, Mata (88'), Torres
Subs: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Terry, Lampard, Moses, Bertrand, Romeu
Scorers: Cole (85')
Booked: Oscar, Luiz
Stoke: Begovic, Wilson, Huth, Cameron, Shawcross, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam (Owen 61'), Kightly (Etherington 71'), Walters, Crouch ( Jones 75')
Subs: Sorensen, Upson, Shotton, Etherington, Owen, Jones, Whitehead
Booked: Adam

Ref: Michael Oliver
Venue: Stamford Bridge

Post a Comment

  1. Mate.. It was ivanovic who crossed it to mata for the goal..




Check out the best online casinos in india at

The Football Blog Network

Discover the best online casinos Canada has to offer at Casinos Online In. Choose a casino bonus and begin playing your favourite games and online slots!
Check out the UK's latest betting offers for upcoming Premier League matches at
Get the best from your new online sportsbook ! It's recommended for soccer fans from the United States to explore the list of top US sports betting sites. Compare their bonuses before signing up with them and placing wagers on Chelsea matches.
For Chelsea odds this season check out Online Bookies for all the latest prices & leading offers.
To compare free bets for betting on Chelsea visit
Looking for the best offers on Football? Head to
Looking for the best odds on Chelsea? Check out
Many canadian online casinos are best known for offering first time depositors with free spins and massive bonuses. Read reviews before signing up with any Canadian casino.
Are you looking for French casino games? goldenriviera casino en ligne is best known for providing the best casino games in France
Online casinos have become increasingly popular in New Zealand. With the rise of internet casinos, there's also a rise of bogus (fake) websites. Make sure you read casino reviews at crazyvegas online casino before you sign up with any casino.
Before you place any bets on Chelsea we suggest get these bookmakers free bets
Look! The latest Chelsea odds here at make sure you check it out!
For the best Chelsea offers on the 20/21 season check out bestfreebetoffers now!
Chelsea latest news All Football News - Chelsea HERE
If you're looking to place your football bets on a new sportsbook, then look no further as Betiton is your new home for football betting!
With so many operators in the Irish market, reviewed the best football betting sites in their guide.
Wanna bet on the best FIFA World Cup Betting Sites? Check out