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Key Events

90' + 5'
P. Bardsley
Yellow 2nd/RC
90' + 4'
Fàbregas
Yellow Card
90' + 2'
P. Crouch
Ramadan Sobhi
90' + 1'
G. Cameron
Yellow Card
88'
K. Zouma
Willian
87'
G. Cahill
Goal
82'
R. Loftus-Cheek
N. Matić
70'
Fàbregas
V. Moses
65'
B. Martins Indi
Yellow Card
65'
E. Pieters
Yellow Card
61'
M. Diouf
S. Berahino
40'
P. Bardsley
Yellow Card
38'
J. Walters
Penalty Goal
17'
Diego Costa
Yellow Card
15'
J. Allen
Yellow Card
13'
Willian
Goal
2
1
3
2

Stats

Possession
% %
2
5
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 1 7
Total Passes 290 522

Commentary

Gary Cahill's 87th minute winner sees Chelsea move 13 points clear atop the Premier League table, as they inch closer and closer to the title. Willian and Jon Walters had first-half goals cancel each other out, and it looked poised to remain that way until the Blues stepped up with a late push, just as champions do. No team has ever led the Premier League by 13 points and not won the title. That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
90' + 6' FULL-TIME: STOKE 1-2 CHELSEA.
P. Bardsley
Yellow 2nd/RC
Stoke City
90' + 5' An incredibly needless challenge, born out of frustration, sees Bardsley pick up a second yellow. His match is over, and so is Stoke's, it would appear.
Fàbregas
Yellow Card
Chelsea
90' + 4' Fabregas sees yellow. Time almost up here for the Potters to pull it back.
90' + 3' TWO FINE SAVES! Grant does well to deny Costa, before Chelsea break again inside of 30 seconds, and this time the keeper gets down wonderfully to prevent Loftus-Cheek from scoring his first goal of the season!
P. Crouch
Ramadan Sobhi
Stoke City
90' + 2' Stoke's final change sees Peter Crouch brought on for Sobhi, but it might be too late for him to have an impact.
G. Cameron
Yellow Card
Stoke City
90' + 1' Cameron goes into the book as he commits a foul in a frantic chase to try and win the ball back for his side.
90' There will be four minutes added on at the end of this match, as the board goes up just as Pedro lashes a shot over the bar following a corner.
K. Zouma
Willian
Chelsea
88' Kurt Zouma is brought on for the final few minutes to help see this out, with Willian giving way. Conte has used all three substitutions yet again today.
G. Cahill
Goal
Chelsea
87' CHELSEA TAKE A MASSIVE STEP TOWARDS THE TITLE! It's a monumental moment in their title pursuit! Pieters has an absolute nightmare as he fails to clear a corner, essentially squaring the ball for Cahill who smashes home from eight yards! Chelsea are about to go 13 points clear at the top! Incredible scenes!
86' NERVY MOMENTS! It's the league leaders who are coming under pressure here! They can't get the ball clear as a combination of lucky bounces and smart movement off the ball sees Stoke keep it in attack. Walters fails to direct an Arnautovic cross at goal, and then Sobhi scuffs a shot miles wide as he gets the contact all wrong. And now back come Chelsea...
84' STAT: Stoke City have won only two of their 17 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (D3 L12), with both victories arriving at the Bet365 Stadium.
R. Loftus-Cheek
N. Matić
Chelsea
82' Chelsea's second change of the match sees the entrance of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with Matic the one to give way. They're really going for it.
80' It's a corner for Stoke, and it comes at a time when they really needed the break in defence. The ball pings around in the area and falls for Allen, but he's unable to get his shot through the sea of bodies.
78' It's all Chelsea at the moment. Stoke have hardly had a touch of the ball, and when they do it's short-lived. They're finding no respite whatsoever, and could very well use some fresh legs here to help them see this out.
76' Stoke are turning this into a real dog fight. Chelsea are being made to work for every pass and every opportunity. The Potters are pressing the ball really well, but they're being moved deeper in defence. It's going to be a tense final 15 minutes for them to try and see this out.
74' Chelsea parked out in attack now, searching for the goal that would keep their title challenge on track. A draw would not be the worst thing for the Blues, but they don't want to provide the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City with a way back into the title race, either.
72' STAT: Only against Spurs (11) has Cesc Fabregas provided more assists in the Premier League than versus Stoke (7).
Fàbregas
V. Moses
Chelsea
70' Chelsea's first change of the afternoon sees Cesc Fabregas replace Moses.
70' The seas part for Matic who has a go from range. He doesn't score very many, but he works Grant with this strike, though the keeper is up to the task. It's really opened up here with 20 minutes to play, and you should listen to this crowd! Unbelievable noise in the Bet365!
68' It's all picking up again! The tempo is back, as is the intensity! Stoke reply to Alonso's chance with a good attack of their own, but the formidable Kante does well to deny Allen a shooting chance from the edge of the box.
66' HE COULDN'T HAVE COME CLOSER! Without scoring, that is. Alonso's free-kick is excellent, and he has the beating of Grant, but not the crossbar!
B. Martins Indi
Yellow Card
Stoke City
65' Martins Indi picks up a yellow as well, though it's not entirely clear for what.
E. Pieters
Yellow Card
Stoke City
65' A surging run and delightful throughball from Willian puts Stoke under pressure, and Pieters is forced to commit a foul for the good of the team to deny Pedro from running in on goal. It's a yellow for Pieters, and an easy decision for referee Anthony Taylor.
63' STAT: Antonio Conte has used every substitution possible in the Premier League this season (81/81). The only side in Premier League history to have done this in a whole 38-game season were Manchester City in 2014-15 (114/114).
M. Diouf
S. Berahino
Stoke City
61' Here is the change, and it is indeed Berahino who gives way for Diouf.
60' Mark Hughes has a substitute readied and it looks as though it will be Mame Diouf who will enter the fray. You would suspect Berahino would give way, as his impact on the match has dwindled significantly as this match has played out.
58' There was a real feistiness to this match in the first half that, even when play slowed down, made for some entertaining viewing. The red mist has since settled, however, as it's become increasingly cagey here at the Bet365.
56' Pieters is back out, meaning Stoke are back to their full compliment of players as play resumes here, but it's hit a bit of a snag as we approach the hour mark. The second half started out lively, but it's really quieted down a bit since.
54' Play is halted after Erik Pieters goes down with an injury following a clash with Willian. The left-back stepped out in front of the Brazilian to shield his teammate from a challenge, but winds up regretting it as he takes a hard knock into the back of his knee.
52' STAT: Chelsea have recorded just two wins in their last seven visits to Stoke in all competitions (D3 L2) – 2-0 in December 2014 and 4-0 in January 2013.
50' Stoke's two wide players deserve a ton of credit for how well they have tracked back this afternoon. Arnautovic and Walters have been diligent in tracking the runs of Alonso and Moses, which really has stifled this Chelsea attack.
48' Lively start to the second half! Stoke manage to orchestrate a decent attack, but the pullback is eventually cut out at the vital moment. Back the other way come Chelsea and Pedro finds his way through, but is forced to settle for a corner after a good piece of defensive covering from Cameron.
46' Back underway in Stoke!
Level at the break at the Bet365! Willian deceived Lee Grant with an early free-kick to give Chelsea the lead, but Stoke responded through a Jon Walters penalty, just a few minutes after Bruno Martins Indi had an apparent equaliser called back for an offside on Saido Berahino. Everything still to play for after the break!
45' + 4' HALF-TIME: STOKE 1-1 CHELSEA.
45' + 2' A whole lot of nothing happening in stoppage-time here. Stoke are enjoying a prominent spell in possession, which has been a significant theme in the last 10 minutes, with Chelsea looking almost scared of conceding again.
45' There will be four minutes added on at the end of this first half as a result of injuries and stoppages.
44' It's Stoke who are on the front foot here with half-time approaching. They will argue they should be in front, given Martins Indi's disallowed goal, but 1-1 is probably the fairest scoreline right now as neither side have done much to deserve to take a lead into the interval - though there's still time for that to change.
42' Still down here is Costa following the foul from Bardsley. The training staff appears to be working on his hamstring, which is not a good sight to see considering the issues he has had with it in the past. He's able to walk off under his own power, but it will be something to keep an eye on going forward.
P. Bardsley
Yellow Card
Stoke City
40' Bardsley goes into the book for a foul on Costa, who is very much a marked man here this afternoon.
39' Shawcross and Costa get involved in an incident, with the Stoke centre-half doing his best to antagonise the Chelsea striker, who does well not to retaliate. Bodies come together on the scene as tempers continue to rise. Anthony Taylor has to calm things down here.
J. Walters
Penalty Goal
Stoke City
38' PARITY RESTORED! No doubt about it from Walters, smashing home an emphatic penalty to pull Stoke level with their first shot of the afternoon!
37' PENALTY TO STOKE! It's a very questionable call, but Mark Hughes won't care in the slightest! Walters goes to ground very easily after a slight touch in the back from Cahill following a free-kick crossed into the box, and he wins the decision!
35' Renewed confidence for Stoke following their disallowed equaliser, though they would rather have a goal to show for it. Nonetheless, they're playing with a lot more swagger now as they get after the league leaders.
33' OFFSIDE! Stoke appear to have pulled level through Martins Indi, who heads home from six yards after a well-worked set piece! The offside flag goes up however, not on Martins Indi but on Berahino, who was deemed to have interfered with the play from his position - and it does appear to be the right decision.
31' STAT: Chelsea have used the fewest players (21) and made the fewest changes to their starting XI overall (24) this season in the Premier League.
29' VITAL STOP! A wonderfully worked move there from Chelsea! A clever dink over the top at the end of it sees Alonso played through, but his first-time effort is thwarted by Grant from point-blank range!
27' Luiz is back up and looks alright to continue. Walters walks over and shakes his hand, a real sporting gesture between the duo as neither harbour any ill will for what was an innocuous coming together.
25' OUCH! Walters and Luiz clash in the air, and the Chelsea centre-half takes the worst of it against the imposing figure of Walters. Luiz looks dazed and this could hamper his ability to continue playing on, though Chelsea do have options on the bench in Nathan Ake and Kurt Zouma.
23' This has really been a poor quality match of football from the start. Scoring chances have been a rarity, with Willian's effort the only one of note, and even that should have been kept out. There's been very little in terms of attacking quality or initiative.
21' STAT: This will be the 13th occasion that Stoke have played against a team placed top of the Premier League on the day of the game. Of the previous 12, they have won just once – versus Manchester City in December 2015 (W1 D2 L9).
19' That goal has really subdued the atmosphere here at the Bet365. It's the travelling fans in full voice now as Chelsea play on the ball, looking much more in control now than they had at any point in the opening 10 minutes.
Diego Costa
Yellow Card
Chelsea
17' And now Diego Costa goes into the book as the match continues to grow in both intensity and physicality.
J. Allen
Yellow Card
Stoke City
15' Great bit of running from Pedro who draws a foul from Joe Allen, and the Stoke midfielder is punished with the first yellow card of the match.
Willian
Goal
Chelsea
13' THE LEADERS HAVE LIFTOFF! Chelsea win a free-kick in an advanced position on the left, which Willian stands over. Everyone is expecting a cross to be played in, but Willian surprises Lee Grant out at the near post. The keeper gets across and manages two hands to it, but fails to keep it out! That's a real red-faced moment for Grant!
11' It looks like Martins Indi will be the one engaged with Costa throughout. The striker seems to have picked his target, as this is the second time the duo have locked horns in the opening stages of this first half, but so far the referee has done well to prevent it from escalating.
9' STAT: Diego Costa’s next Premier League goal will be his 50th in the competition. If Costa does score in this game, he will have reached 50 goals in 80 Premier League appearances. The only players to do this in fewer games were Andrew Cole (65), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Fernando Torres (72).
7' Chelsea haven't been able to get themselves into the game quite yet, managing very little, if any, possession beyond the halfway line. Costa is making himself a bit of a nuisance off the ball, just seeking out a battle as he tries to antagonise this Stoke defenders.
5' Stoke have made a strong start to the match and it's got this crowd behind them. They have Chelsea up against the wall a bit as they show some good initiative to get forward and keep the ball there, though Courtois has yet to be put to work.
3' It's a windy afternoon here at the Bet365 and the atmosphere is piercing for Antonio Conte's first visit to Stoke. Possession is evenly distributed in the early few minutes, with neither side able to break out of midfield.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Chelsea get us underway, attacking right to left.
Antonio Conte is forced into making a change, and just the one from their victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup, as Eden Hazard did not travel with the team and misses out through injury. Pedro comes in to take his place in the side, flanking striker Diego Costa along with Willian.
Mark Hughes makes just one change to the Stoke side from their scoreless draw at Manchester City last weekend, as Marko Arnautovic is restored in attack at the expense of Mame Diouf.
SUBS: Begovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Ake, Loftus-Cheek, Batshuayi, Chalobah.
CHELSEA (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Pedro, Costa.
SUBS: Muniesa, Whelan, Afellay, Adam, Diouf, Given, Crouch.
STOKE (4-2-3-1): Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Allen, Cameron; Walters, Sobhi, Arnautovic; Berahino.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Nevertheless, it’s back to the friendly confines of the Bet365 Stadium for the Potters today, a venue they have not lost at in the league since November – a run they will hope to continue today in what promises to be a thrilling encounter if it’s anything like the 4-2 Chelsea victory in the reverse fixture in London.
Stoke are ensconced in the top half of the table, but Europe remains close to an impossibility for them. They have their away form to thank for that, with seven of their 10 losses on the season coming away from Staffordshire.
If there was one thing to criticise Chelsea for – and this is getting awfully picky – it would be their lack of clean sheets of late. Their defensive record overall this season has been excellent, but January 22 was the last time they blanked their opponent in the Premier League.
Another 24 points. That’s the number Chelsea need over the final 11 games to guarantee themselves the title, assuming Tottenham win out. That number will likely shrink as things play out in north London, but it’s safe to say the Blues have a firm hand on the title as we round the final turn.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Bet365 stadium as runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea aim to stay on course when they host Stoke City.
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