Cahill scores late victor for Chelsea

Eden Hazard has been in unbelievable form this season of the Premier League and it is nowhere more evident than Antonio Conte's comments regarding the player.

Yet Stoke hit back when Jon Walters, having been fouled by Cahill, picked himself up to score from the penalty spot seven minutes before the break.

The Italian swung jubilantly from the dugout after Gary Cahill had scored the late victor in the 2-1 victory and afterwards embraced players and staff joyfully as Chelsea moved 13 points clear of their pursuers. "I think he's available but, before Stoke it's important to check a couple of situations".

"It was an evenly matched game and they had late opportunities when we went for a goal".

The last time Stoke beat Chelsea in the league was by a one goal margin, as Marko Arnautovic acrobatically finished past Asmir Begovic ito compound Jose Mourinho's misery.

Stoke thought they had levelled through Bruno Martins Indi's header, but it was ruled out for Saido Berahino's push on Pedro. No reunion between Costa and Ryan Shawcross was likely to end in cuddles and compliments, but many of Chelsea's first-half struggles were directly related to their striker spending more of his time wrestling opposition defenders than providing an effective focal point.

Chelsea player ratings: Courtois 6, Azpilicueta 7, David Luiz 6, Cahill 5, Moses 4, Matic 5, Kante 8, Alonso 6, Pedro 5, Willian 6, Diego Costa 6. And even on days when the "fantasy" of Hazard deserts them, Chelsea's dream season goes on unhindered. First, we will try to win the next game in the league against Stoke and, when the cup comes, we are going to try to win it.

Terry was linked with a handful of January moves, but he stayed on as a Chelsea his back-up with a fifth Premier League winner's medal growing increasingly clearer on the horizon.

"This is good for the team, but Antonio is a very good coach with good mentality, good ideas as to how to play and win the games". Mark Hughes' side managed to earn a point at the Etihad Stadium with a hard-fought draw and will hope to put a minor dent in Chelsea's title charge at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

  • Rosalie Stanley