Stoke City were unable to rescue a point from Saturday afternoon’s match against Chelsea, as the hosts fell 2-1 on a late goal from Gary Cahill.
It was a disappointing result for Stoke as they were unable to hold off the relentless Chelsea attack, they were just minutes away from earning a point against another top club. Cahill took advantage of a failed clearance attempt that fell kindly for the defender, roofing the shot into the back of the net.
Chelsea had grabbed an early advantage after Willan’s free-kick was well-placed and beat Lee Grant on the near post, which was a rare mistake from the veteran goalkeeper. The Potters drew level 38th minute as Cahill shoved Jonathan Walters to the ground in the box, the referee pointed straight to the spot with little hesitation. Walters stepped up and smashed it past Thibaut Courtois.
The Potters drew level in the 38th minute as Cahill shoved Jonathan Walters to the ground in the box, the referee pointed straight to the spot with little hesitation. Walters stepped up and smashed the ensuing spot kick past Thibaut Courtois.
In the second half, Chelsea had the better of the chances as a few hit the woodwork and Grant did well to keep the score level as well. However, the error in the box cost the club in the 87th minute as the Blues collected all three points on the road, they only need seven more wins to clinch the Premier League title.
Here are three takeaways from today’s match.
#1 Offensive production lacking
In a match such as this, a club needs a player to step up offensively and deliver a goal, but there were very few opportunities created by both Saido Berahino and Mame Diouf. Statistically, the Potters were outshot 20 to 5 and only had one shot on target. Additionally, their set pieces were rather poor and did not pose any real threat to the Chelsea defense.
#2 Grant keeps Stoke in the match
Despite his early error, Grant did well to keep his club in the match. The scoreline could have been easily 3-1 or 4-1, but Grant came up with some massive saves to at least give Stoke the chance of finding a winner or holding on for a point. He continues to be one of the top players for the club this season.
Both of the goals could have been seemingly avoided, Grant and the Stoke defense were punished for momentary lacks of concentration. Additionally, Phil Bardsley picked up a needless red card in the 95th minute for a late challenge. With nine matches remaining the club will need to do everything they can to avoid a similar finish to last season.