English Premiership

Chelsea go clear at the top

2012-09-22 18:13
Ashley Cole (AP)
London - Ashley Cole's late goal saw Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as the European champions went three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Stoke had looked like posting a record fifth successive draw since the start of the new season as the match entered the 85th minute but Cole's goal condemned them to their first league defeat this term.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo left John Terry and Frank Lampard on the bench after their exertions in the midweek Champions League draw against Juventus, with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar lining up behind Fernando Torres.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis also opted to leave out Michael Owen in favour of another England striker in Peter Crouch as the Potters looked for a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1974.

The hosts dominated possession in the opening exchanges but it was Stoke who had the first real chance as Michael Kightly's shot was blocked by Cole in the fourth minute.

Torres wasted a good chance from Mata's accurate corner soon afterwards as Chelsea struggled to break down a stubborn Stoke defence.

Stoke gave notice of their attacking threat in the 19th minute when Jonathan Walters headed against the bar following a free kick from Glenn Whelan.

Seven minutes later, Mata finally carved open the Stoke defence when his excellent ball played in Torres, but the Spaniard missed his kick from just six yards out after controlling well on his chest.

Chelsea continued to dominate possession but were reduced to speculative efforts from distance.

The visitors then created two great chances in the space of 60 seconds, with Marc Wilson's powerful drive well saved by Petr Cech, before the Chelsea keeper had to be at his best to deny a flying header from Kightly.

Two efforts from Cole and David Luiz that flew high and wide just before the break summed up a frustrating first 45 minutes for the home side.

Chelsea started the second half in determined fashion and thought they should have had a penalty five minutes in when Oscar clashed with Ryan Shawcross.

But referee Michael Oliver deemed that the Stoke defender had won the ball and booked the Brazilian for diving instead.

Mata should have done much better when the ball was played back to him in acres of space but he curled his shot embarrassingly wide.

Oscar at least managed to force Asmir Begovic into a save after his effort from just outside the box, while Walters went close up the other end when he just failed to connect properly with Crouch's knockdown.

Mata then found space inside the Stoke area after good work from Torres but was denied by an excellent last-ditch tackle from Shawcross.

Owen was introduced as a substitute for Charlie Adam and the visitors continued to look dangerous on the break.

Oscar again called Begovic into action in the 67th minute when the keeper did well to save his deflected shot.

But Di Matteo's men continued to struggle and the Italian sent on Lampard with nine minutes to play in an attempt to salvage a win.

However, it was left to another of the Blues’ old guard to secure victory five minutes from time as the ball deflected to the unmarked Cole.

The defender, showing no sign of his goal drought going back to May 2010, calmly lifted a shot over the onrushing Begovic to finally break the deadlock.

English Premier League results on Saturday:

Swansea 0, Everton 3
Chelsea 1, Stoke 0
Southampton 4, Aston Villa 1
West Bromwich Albion 1, Reading 0
West Ham 1, Sunderland 1
Wigan 1, Fulham 2

Read more on:    chelsea  |  stoke  |  english premiership  |  ashley cole  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Welbeck, the new Henry?

2014-10-02 12:31

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Fixtures
04 October 2014
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Burnley, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Newcastle United, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Stoke City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Crystal Palace, The KC Stadium 16:00
Aston Villa v Manchester City, Villa Park 18:30
05 October 2014
Manchester United v Everton, Old Trafford 13:00
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 15:05
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, White Hart Lane 15:05
West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers, Boleyn Ground 17:15
18 October 2014
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 13:45
Arsenal v Hull City, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Aston Villa, Goodison Park 16:00
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Southampton v Sunderland, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Ham United, Turf Moor 16:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.