Chelsea defeated Stoke City 2-1 to extend their advantage at the Premier League summit to 13.
The Premier League leaders took the lead through their player of the year. After Marcos Alonso was fouled by Marco Arnautovic, Chelsea were awarded a free-kick at an acute angle. There didn’t appear to be a shooting opportunity on for Willian, but he found Lee Grant’s bottom corner with a low-drilled effort. Grant should have done better at his near post.
The home side were then awarded a penalty after Gary Cahill unnecessarily shoved Jon Walters in the back. It was Walters who stepped up, and Walters who found the top corner of Thibaut Courtois’ goal. Though it could be seen as a soft penalty to be awarded, by the letter of the law it was undoubtedly a foul.
Cahill went on to redeem himself by scoring a crucial goal. After a penalty box scramble, the ball fell at the skipper’s feet, and he made no mistake, firing home into the top corner. It was a striker’s finish, and a goal that could prove pivotal in the title race.
Ultimately, that goal proved to be enough to secure Stoke a precious point and throw a rock in the road for Chelsea’s title charge. Here are our player ratings for both sides.
Stoke City player ratings: Grant 4, Bardsley 2, Shawcross 7, Martins Indi 7, Pieters 5, Cameron 6, Allen 6, Sobhi 7, Walters 6, Berahino 3.
Chelsea player ratings: Courtois 6, Azpilicueta 7, David Luiz 6, Cahill 5, Moses 4, Matic 5, Kante 8, Alonso 6, Pedro 5, Willian 6, Diego Costa 6.