The hallmark of title winners

Paola Ditto
Marzo 20, 2017

Hughes added that Phil Bardsley might have been unfortunate to get a second yellow card for a fouil at the death - particularly as Chelsea players already on a booking over celebrated with their fans a few minutes earlier after Gary Cahill's 86th minute victor.

At first glance it was a surprise to see Peter Crouch, so effective during the last meeting between these teams at Stamford Bridge in December, on the bench. "Come the end of the season, it could be absolutely massive for us".

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is unlikely to win any "fair play" awards this season but goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says the fiery forward has become much better at controlling his temper despite relentless heavy treatment from opposing defenders.

It looked like the flawless opportunity to deliver a cross, but Willian had other ideas and whipped his free-kick around the two-man wall and past Lee Grant, who should have done better than to just help the shot on its way in.

'When the game plays out like that, a neutral might have been looking and thinking this has got draw written all over it, so we wanted to keep going. It's debatable whether Stoke's approach met his standards, but the Premier League leaders have rarely been pushed so close this season.

For Chelsea, this was a many-faceted triumph which surely removes any doubts over the destination of the title. The talk in the aftermath of another win was not of whether they will win the title but of how they have done it.

Mark Hughes' side tried to unsettle Chelsea's momentum with aggressive tactics and it looked to be working until Cahill secured all three points with a late victor. It was the kind of goal Manchester United would score while winning championships.

"They've found a way of playing, a formula, an understanding of the manager's ideas". "They are adapting to my system, to my philosophy of football".

'It is a hard moment to remember this because me and all the players we celebrated a great win.

'He has a good quality, he is acrobatic, he is very good during corners and set-pieces.

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