The Bosnian was on hand to make a good early save from a Bosingwa cross-cum-shot that was arrowing towards the inside of the near post. Made an acrobatic save to deny Mikel a stunner from distance and put in a string of top drawer stops to earn his side a point.
The club's player of the season last term has been shifted out to right-back following the arrival of Woodgate, but he came into the middle when required, notably diving towards goal to head away a Torres cross that would have resulted in a tap-in for Malouda.
Making his league debut for his new club and his first Premier League start in over a year, the former Tottenham man looked composed as ever and was rarely turned by an opponent. Made a few terrific tackles in the second half, including a vital touch almost on the line to prevent Torres from tapping in.
Linked with Liverpool, the Stoke captain might have endeared himself to the Reds' fans with an unnecessary chop on Torres that earned him a yellow card in the first half. He continued his personal duel with the Spaniard in the second half and was fortunate not to concede a free kick or penalty with a tackle that had the £50m sprawling on the edge of the area.
The Irishman, whose preferred position is in the centre of midfield, continued where he left off last season in the left-back slot an was overrun on occasion by the double threat of Bosingwa and Kalou. Highly fortunate not to have conceded a penalty with a clear foul on Lampard in the box.
Interchanged with Etherington in the first half and was wasteful in possession, picking out Jones in an obviously offside position and over-hitting more than a couple of lofted through balls.
Made a well-timed toe-poke tackle on Kalou in the area that had the Ivorian appealing for a penalty. Played some nice balls into the channels but seldom created.
The veteran midfielder had Cech on his toes with some well-delivered throws, and he covered ground well to prevent Lampard and Mikel from getting too many passing triangles started in the final third.
The flying winger barely got going and was taken off on the hour mark with a painful knock to the arm.
The Scouser, who scored one of the most memorable goals of last season against the same opponents in April, was industrious as ever but rarely allied craft to graft.
Good with his back to goal, but the big Trinidad forward failed to attack the ball as Alex bashed away the best deliveries into the box.
Dealt with the first aerial bombardment well with a strong punch from a Delap throw which set the tone for the rest of the game for the Czech, who was commanding in the air.
A behemoth in the air, the Brazilian never allowed Jones to get a telling touch in front of goal.
The Portuguese full-back flew forward well and almost scored with a mis-hit cross that had Begovic scrambling at his near post. Showed plenty of trickery as he carried the ball up the pitch, but too often his final delivery was wayward.
Dependable stuff from the skipper, who had Stoke fans appealing in vain for a penalty after Walters smacked a loose ball against him in the box.
Fortunate not to be booked early on after a tactical foul as Stoke countered in the first half. Got forward well and looked to free up space for Malouda throughout.
J. Obi Mikel
The Nigerian spread the play well at times, but kept it simple for the most part, dropping between midfield and defence to offer an easy out ball to his team-mates while mopping up effectively. Almost scored with a stunning volley that had to be tipped over the bar.
The energetic Brazilian surprised Stoke's defenders with a Torres-esque run into the box that saw him ink past three men in red and white, but after finding himself in such an unusual position, he screwed his shot well wide. Had a chance early in the second to open the scoring, but uncomfortably sliced the ball the wrong side of the post on his left foot.
Wasted the chance to put in a first-half cross with men in the booze after being freed by Torres down the channel and barely improved in the second before being replaced by Anelka.
The Stamford Bridge stalwart played, as ever, facing goal throughout the game, and helped his side retain the ball in the middle with some precise passing even if he failed to create much for Torres. Should have won a penalty (though he did go down early) after Wilson's trip.
His turn of pace in between Woodgate and Wilson was a worry for both, but a lack of first-half finesse often saw him concede possession, though he did double up well with Bosingwa down the right on occasion.
The Spaniard, who sustained a knock to the head this week, was surprisingly picked ahead of Drogba in a game not for the faint hearted, but he looked much sharper than he did in his awkward first few months at the club last year, and held the ball up well while showing flashes of pace that had Stoke's backline scrambling, especially causing Shawcross plenty of trouble. Showed the touch of the 2009 Torres and surely it's only a matter of time before his finishing is as refined as it used to be. Had he been given better support from his team-mates, he might well have been able to recalibrate his shooting boots.
- 40 Hilário
- 19 Paulo Ferreira
- 2 B. Ivanović
Replaced Torres in the dying minutes of the match.
- 20 J. McEachran
Replaced Kalou with a little under 15 minutes remaining, and took control of direct free-kicks, but was unable to seriously test the impressive Begovic.
Brought on for the ineffectual Malouda and almost nabbed a stunning goal with a lofted effort from the edge of the area that was tipped onto the bar by Begovic.