Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Cahill strikes late as leaders Chelsea snatch win at Stoke

Cahill strikes late as leaders Chelsea snatch win at Stoke

The Blues began well and opened the scoring early in the first half as Willian curled home a free-kick from a tight angle in the 13th minute - although Stoke keeper Grant should certainly have done more to keep it out.

Gary Cahill then shoved Jon Walters to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot.

Chelsea finally found a break through in the 87th minute as David Luiz's header from a corner was blocked, only for Cahill to smash home the loose ball.

"Eden is showing great football but also great character and personality in every game". For the first, a 1-0 away win over Sunderland on December 14, it was Cesc Fabregas who provided what Conte calls the "fantasy" in attack, winning Man of the Match and scoring the game's only goal.

"But I'm not anxious about this because Eden is very strong physically, and he's showed me he's able to play in this league".

Stoke thought they had equalised in the 33rd minute when Bruno Martins Indi powered a header beyond Thibaut Courtois, only for Saido Berahino to be penalised for a push on Cesar Azpilicueta in the build up. The Chelsea striker threatened to boil over nearly from kick-off and Antonio Conte was going to have a keep a close watch on his hot-headed hitman, with a view to getting him out of harm's way if things got out of hand.

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Stoke ended the game with 10 men after Phil Bardsley was dismissed for a second bookable offence, following a foul on abregas.

But Cahill made amends for his earlier error by firing Chelsea in front three minutes from time after Stoke failed to properly clear a corner from Willian.

"It would mean we've won the league and, for me, it would be a great satisfaction to have one of my players winning this award".

In the other games on Saturday, Everton hammered Hull 4-0, Crystal Palace edged out Watford, Chelsea overcame Stoke, and Leicester's run under their new manager continued at West Ham. "We got the details of the game wrong on a couple of occasions and good teams can punish you, which Chelsea are".

Asked whether it was Chelsea's title to lose, he added: "To have a 10 points gap, 13 at the moment, but I like to think our opponents will win tomorrow".

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