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January 26, 2014
• 10:30 AM
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 40845
That's it from me, Greg Taylor, thanks for joining us and have a great Sunday night.
Stoke never really got out of their own half in the last thirty minutes and were far too conservative. Mourinho can have a glass of wine and enjoy his birthday now.
FULL TIME: And there's the final whistle and it will be Chelsea that will be going through to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. They are deserved winners and 1-0 flatters Stoke. Oscar's brilliant free kick was all that separated the two sides in the end but Chelsea could have and should have scored three or four more if it weren't for some poor finishing.
90' + 2'
Stoke get near the Chelsea goal for the first time in about 20 minutes, Charlie Adam races towards the box but his shot is charged down and Chelsea come away with it. They're running out of time.
There will be four minutes of injury time. Can Stoke score? Probably not.
Chelsea just a few minutes away from winning and giving Jose Mourinho a nice birthday present. Luiz and Cahill just passing it around the back, Stoke look beat.
Charlie Adam and Marc Muniesa are on for Stoke in place of Marko Arnautovic and Erik Pieters. Not much time for these players to make an impact.
Chelsea have a corner but Shawcross heads it clear. Stoke really need to pour forward now in search of a goal but they still seem to be content sitting back. Does Hughes know this isn't over two legs?
Yellow Card Erik Pieters
GREAT SAVE! Luiz hits it brilliantly into the top left hand corner but Begovic is there and tips it over. Great reflexes to keep his side in it. Eto'o is off for Demba Ba.
The goal scorer is coming off. Oscar is replaced by Willian. Stoke pressing down the right but they get caught out. Ramires runs straight through the middle and wins a free kick from 25 yards out. Cue Lampard or Luiz.
PENALTY SHOUT! Ramires goes down under a challenge from Pieters but Chris Foy pauses and waves play on. Probably the right decision. Can Stoke get an unlikely equaliser?
CHANCE! Somehow Chelsea haven't scored. This is getting ridiculous. Hazard gets round the back of Cameron, he cuts ti back to Ramires who misses it, but it falls to Eto'o but he gets his feet in a tangle and Pieters is there to boot it away.
Another chance for Lampard but still no goal. He brings the ball down on his chest and volleys the ball hard and low but Begovic was there to deny him.
Great driving run from Hazard. The young Belgian glides into the Stoke box but Ireland tracks him all the way and makes a great tackle to concede a corner.
And he has. Assaidi who scored the winner in the match between these two sides in December is on for Palacios. Attacker for holding midfielder, Hughes is going for it. Can the Moroccan score another wonder goal and keep The Potters in the cup?
So Mourinho acts first, Ramires is on for Schürrle. Surely Hughes needs to make a change? They're defending well but this is a cup game and unless they score in the next 20 minutes, they'll be out.
Stoke continue to frustrate Chelsea with men behind the ball. Or in Mourinho's terms 'parking the bus'. Crouch controls it well and feeds Walters but he is dispossessed by Matic. The game is getting a little stuck in the middle of the pitch.
This is about the time when both managers will be looking at their benches and thinking about who to bring on.
Eto'o has been brilliant today at linking up with the midfielders behind him. Again he feeds Lampard who turns well but can't get a shot away and Pieters is there to nick it off the Chelsea captain and play it away.
Oscar has another shot but Begovic sees it early and calmly claims the ball. The match is starting to form a familiar pattern. Stoke come forward, Chelsea break. Can either side find a goal?
Over an hour played and you'd expect Chelsea to be in the hat for the fifth-round draw. The hosts continue to push Stoke back but The Potters are holding firm.
Chelsea unable to get that all important second goal but they do have a corner after Oscar's shot was blocked. They get another corner after it falls to Cahill whose shot is deflected behind.
The longer this game remains 1-0, the more Stoke can grow into the game. Walters is fouled from behind by Ivanovic and Stoke have a free kick from 30 yards out. Arnautovic takes it but it flashes just wide.
First time this half Stoke get at Chelsea. Crouch holds it up and feeds Walters, who steps in inside but curls his effort away from the goal and Schwarzer has a goal kick.
Chelsea camped on the edge of the box, some lovely one touch passing falls to Oscar who curls a shot just beyond the far post. Begovic had it covered.
Oscar really dictating play now, spreading the ball around and trying to feed Eto'o. Hughes will be pleased his side are still in this, they need just one chance. Walters heads over and Chelsea have a free kick.
POST! So close! Oscar switches the ball to the right into the path of Schürrle who hits it first time and cracks it against the underside of the bar. How are Chelsea not 2-0 up?
Chelsea starting fairly brightly with Cole getting down the left, laying it back to Hazard but his cross is over hit and Stoke have a goal kick.
And we're back underway.
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be back underway shortly.
FACT: Chelsea have won the competition seven times, with all seven of their victories coming between 1970 and 2012.
HALF-TIME: And there's the whistle. Not a classic cup tie yet, but Chelsea deserve the lead. A great free kick by Oscar is what separates the two sides but it seems only a matter of time before they build on their lead. What can Hughes change to help Stoke find an equaliser?
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Marc Wilson
45' + 1'
Stoke are hanging on at the moment. Oscar dribbles past two Stoke defenders and finds Eto'o who is out muscled by Shawcross. Stoke are up the other end and have a corner.
Lampard again misses a great opportunity. Ivanovic uses his strength and cuts the ball back to the edge of the area to Lampard who blasts over. How many more chances does the Englishman need to score?
POST! Oscar is suddenly freed down the right, drops a shoulder and hits a low hard shot onto the near post. Begovic was nowhere near that. Chelsea should be leading by more than one goal now.
CHANCE! How did Lampard miss that? Hazard just effortlessly skips through the Stoke defence and cuts it back for Lampard who fails to make contact. Stoke immediately counter and Ireland goes close with a shot that hits the side netting.
I don't think Crouch has touched the ball since the opening 10 minutes. Starved of service and in truth, Chelsea look very comfortable at the back. Surely Hughes will make some changes in the second half.
CLOSE! Lampard floats in a great free kick from deep and Ivanovic just miss times his jump which allows Begovic to calmly catch the ball. Almost 2-0.
Matic trying to feed Ivanovic down the right flank but it's over hit and Stoke regain possession. Chelsea deserve the lead but while it's only 1-0 the Potters are still in this. They need only remember their win against the Blues in December for inspiration.
Chelsea trying to up the ante and grab a second before the break. Chelsea may not be as free scoring as Man City or as stylish as Arsenal but boy do they get results. I'm sure birthday boy Mourinho is very happy so far.
Yellow Card Geoff Cameron
That was Oscar's ninth goal of the season. Looking forward to seeing him during this years World Cup. Hazard feeds Eto'o but he is quickly closed down by three Stoke defenders and Chelsea have a throw.
FACT: Stoke were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City at this stage of the tournament last season, while Chelsea reached the semi-finals before also suffering a defeat against City. Will it be 1-0 again for Stoke?
GOAL! Who needs Mata when you have Oscar? Fantastic free kick from the little Brazilian. Luiz runs over the ball and Oscar curls it away from Begovic into the top left hand corner from 25 yards. No chance for Begovic. Beckham would be proud of that.
Eto'o is fouled from behind by Pieters and Chelsea have a free kick in a dangerous position. Luiz, Lampard and Oscar all standing over it.
Eto'o miss controls the ball twice on the edge of the area and Stoke can break. Crouch tries a delicate lob through ball to Walters but Cahill reads it. The hosts are just lacking that clinical touch right now. If only they had a creative Spaniard to call upon?
Game gone a little flat in the last five minutes. Chelsea definitely on top but Stoke look very organised and disciplined.
FACT: Chelsea have won their last six at Stamford Bridge against Stoke City, keeping a clean sheet in their last five. So who's your money on then?
Stoke unable to create anything meaningful in the last 15 minutes. They seem to get into the final third and run out of ideas. Need some inspiration. Assaidi and Adam are available for Mark Hughes should he choose to bring them on.
Stoke trying to apply some pressure but Chelsea catch them on the break. Hazard slips Eto'o in, he holds it up and plays in Oscar, who lays it off for Schürrle but Shawcross makes a great last ditch tackle to sniff out the danger.
PENALTY SHOUT! Hazard runs at the Stoke defenders again, he plays a one-two with Oscar but Hazard runs straight into Palacios' leg and wants a penalty. Referee Chris Foy waves play on. Nothing Palacios could do there, the Belgian just ran into him.
Lovely interchange play by the front four of Chelsea. Constantly rotating making it increasingly harder for Stoke players to pick up their markers.
Good play again by Hazard, Cole feeds him and he delivers a great low cross but Shawcross intercepts it and plays it away. Mourinho will be pleased with his side so far, starting to apply more pressure. Chelsea have a corner, Oscar over it.
History may not serve serve former Chelsea player Mark Hughes too well. He has lost every one of his seven games at Stamford Bridge as a manager, seeing his sides concede 19 goals and score just three times in the process. Still could be worse.
Good start by both teams. You can already see how both sides are approaching this. Chelsea looking to go wide with Hazard and Schürrle, while Stoke are looking for Crouch at every opportunity.
So no Mata, but Chelsea fans do get a first look at Matic. He plays a lovely ball through to Hazard but Wilson reads it well. Stoke come straight back at them, Walters sweeps in a cross and Crouch gets across Luiz but his header goes wide. Goal kick to Chelsea.
CLOSE! Inches wide! Hazard cuts in from the left and feeds Eto'o on the edge of the box who swivels beautifully but drags his shot just wide of the post.
Stoke start positively with Ireland and Crouch down the right, but Luiz cuts the attack out and pings it forward toward Eto'o.
And we're off, Stoke kick off.
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me quickly go and get that form book and read its contents. Chelsea come into this fixture in fine form on the back of five straight league wins while Stoke have been up and down like they have been all season. Just one win from their last five matches.
These two sides may be at opposite ends of the table but the form book can be thrown out the window when it comes to the magic, that is the FA Cup. In fact, we only need to look back to December when Stoke stunned Chelsea and beat them 3-2 at the Britannia thanks to Oussama Assaidi's late strike. Can Mark Hughes' men conjure up the same kind of performance today?
Jose Mourinho has made five changes after last weekend's comfortable 3-1 win over Manchester United in the Premier League. Mark Schwarzer is in goal, while Ashley Cole, Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard and Andre Schurrle all return.
STOKE SUBS: Sorensen, Muniesa, Shotton, Whelan, Adam, Assaidi, Guidetti
STOKE: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Ireland, Palacios, Arnautovic; Crouch
CHELSEA SUBS: Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry, Mikel, Ramires, Willian and Ba
CHELSEA: Schwarzer; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Matic, Lampard; Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
After refusing refusing to play in the Potter’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at the weekend, Kenwyne Jones looks to be off to Cardiff City but the highly promising John Guidetti on loan from Man City may feature after making his debut from the bench at Selhurst Park.
So how will Chelsea fare in the post-Mata era? The Spaniard's move to Old Trafford has already seen Chelsea trying to sign Basel winger Mohammed Salah as his replacement, but the Egyptian international hasn't arrived in time to feature afternoon.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Fourth Round FA Cup meeting between the high flying Chelsea and struggling Stoke. My name is Greg Taylor and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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