Chelsea beat Stoke 2-1 to maintain lead at the top
- Chelsea beat Stoke City 2 – 1 to widen the gap at the top of the table to 13 points
- The goals came from Willian & Cahill, Walters for Stoke, all setpieces
Chelsea extended their lead –briefly- to 13 points with a battling win at the Bet 365 Stadium on Saturday. An early goal from Willian was canceled out by a spot-kick from Jonathan Walters before Gary Cahill struck the winner three minutes from time.
Eden Hazard’s absence from the matchday squad filtered in minutes before the match, the Belgian had suffered a niggle in training and was replaced by Willian in the starting XI. Missing their main creative hub, Chelsea had to look elsewhere for inspiration and it came from Willian in the 13th minute. With the players set up for an indirect freekick, the Brazilian went for the near post and though Foster got hands to the ball he could only palm it into the net.
Jonathan Walters got the equaliser from the penalty spot after a clumsy challenge from Gary Cahill and as Chelsea continued to toil in the absence of their midfield maestro, Cahill made up for his error with a poacher’s goal from a corner to collect all three points on the day.