Cahill scores late victor for Chelsea

Mar 19, 2017, 00:48
Cahill scores late victor for Chelsea

Earlier, Cahill had been penalised for a foul on Jonathan Walters, which allowed the Stoke man to cancel out Willian's opening goal.

CHELSEA'S rampant pursuit of the Premier League title continues after Gary Cahill scored a later victor as the Blues recorded a fifth consecutive win.

But the spine of Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante and Diego Costa have been crucial to everything good at Stamford Bridge. His free-kick from an acute angle caught out Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant and found it's way into the bottom corner.

Conte's team, who travel to Stoke on Saturday, are 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and face Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-finals next month.

Surprisingly it took Costa 17 minutes to take the bait and earn the game's first booking for dissent. Cameron's header back into the box is diverted into the net by Martins Indi but the goal is rightly disallowed because Berahino pushed over Azpilicueta, allowing Martins Indi to head home unchallenged.

On the plus side for Conte, Chelsea were already a goal to the good by then!

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It was an idle threat - Batshuayi has not played more than six minutes in a Premier League match since November - but it appeared to have the desired effect.

Suddenly Stoke began to commit more bodies forward in an attempt to salvage a point from the game, but that allowed Chelsea to attack nearly at will and there should have been a third late on when Costa fired a shot against the outside of the post before Ruben Loftus-Cheek was denied by Grant.

Costa struck a post after that yet he was a footnote in this contest, even when the red card came out, with Bardsley the recipient for a second cautionable offence as he fouled Cesc Fabregas.

The Italian is understood to have complained that Chelsea sold three experienced first-team players during the January transfer window in Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel without recruiting any replacements.

Stoke, meanwhile, remain ninth in the table and are now seven points adrift of the top eight following West Bromwich Albion's win over Arsenal in the early kickoff.

"I played in that position for many years and I think he's an outstanding striker, but on occasions he's got elements of his play that he doesn't need to have".

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