Late Cahill strike helps Chelsea edge past Stoke

Late Cahill strike helps Chelsea edge past Stoke

Late Cahill strike helps Chelsea edge past Stoke

It sent Chelsea 13 points clear at the top with 10 games to play.

Chelsea won without star winger Eden Hazard, who was missing because of an unspecified injury.

Number of players that Antonio Conte wanted who were eventually signed by Chelsea since the Italian became manager.

It ultimately sealed their 19th win in their last 22 league games, with Stoke's misery completed when Bardsley received his marching orders in the dying seconds after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas. Grant should have done better at his near post.

Stoke ended the game with 10 men after Phil Bardsley was dismissed for a second bookable offence, following a foul on abregas.

However they were happier after 37 minutes when Taylor awarded them a penalty after Cahill needlessly shoved Jon Walters over following an Arnautovic free kick - and Walters smashed his spot kick high into the roof of Chelsea's net.

Willian (Chelsea). Replacing Eden Hazard, who missed the game through injury, the Brazilian looked Chelsea's most unsafe player throughout and his great awareness lead to the first goal.

Since being dropped by Conte after a training ground row over a back injury and a lucrative offer from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, Diego Costa has scored four goals in nine Chelsea matches.

Nonetheless, despite there still being much to play for over the coming months, speculation is already building about who Conte could look to sign in the summer, and two Everton stars are the latest to be linked with Stamford Bridge, namely Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.

"If you try to stop one area of their progression, then they will open up other areas of the pitch and are able to attack in another way".

- Cesar Azpilicueta made his 150th Premier League appearance for Chelsea, becoming the first Spaniard to reach this milestone for the Blues.

With Spurs and Manchester City not in action until Sunday, Chelsea had a golden opportunity to take another step closer to the title by earning a positive result at the bet365 Stadium.

"It was a clear penalty and correctly given, but he's the last man", Hughes said.

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