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Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea are now 13 points clear at top of Premier League table despite having played only 2 games this month.

Gary Cahill told the club’s official website that the Blues’ win against Stoke City will give ‘an extra bit of pressure’ since both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have to win their games today.

“It’s crazy we only have two Premier League games this month and we spoke about what the gap could be – he pointed out - We managed to get the two wins, that was the target at the start of the month and we can sit back and watch the games [on Sunday] now,”

“I’m sure there will be pressure in those games and they may respond to that, but I’ve played in situations before where a team gets a result before and you have to go out. It gives that extra bit of pressure”.

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Chelsea captain and match winner Gary Cahill spoke after his side’s late win against Stoke City at Bet365 Stadium yesterday.

The defender conceded a penalty after hitting Potters’ striker Walters in the first half:  “When you make a mistake, I felt it was a soft penalty, but nevertheless you want to make it right in some way, somehow, – Cahill admitted – So I’m delighted to get the goal”.

“The most important thing is the win but I was delighted to get the goal. I felt I’ve showed character time and time again this season just as we have as a team, and you get the rewards sometimes”.

Diego Costa was accused of ‘black arts’ by Stoke manager Mark Hughes, while the game ended with 27 fouls committed and 6 yellow cards shown by referee Anthony Taylor.

Cahill added: “It was exactly how we expected it, we knew it was going to be tough. I watched the City game and they frustrated them, they were really well organised and it was the same again today”.

“They caused us a few problems but we kept trying to play and create and we did that thankfully. The wins are all that matter at this stage”.

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that Diego Costa is a master of the dark arts following the Chelsea’s striker imposing performance against Potters today.

The manager reckons that the Spaniard knows how to get fouls on the pitch: “Diego Costa draws fouls and tries to make most of contact when they are not fouls, – Hughes claimed - He is adept at the dark arts and everyone in football recognises that. He has many elements and factors, you have to put up with them.”

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Antonio Conte spoke at press conference after Chelsea away win against Stoke City.

“For sure this is an important win. – the Italian manager said – Against a strong team, it is not easy in this point in the season to come here and to play in Stoke against a strong team with a good quality and tactical organisation”.

“We showed from the start a great will to win, from the start to the end. I am very pleased with this, as they showed me a good will to win but that they were prepared to fight to win this game, because it wasn’t easy.”

Referee Shawcross Stoke

When asked whether Stoke City defenders tried to hustle Diego Costa during the game, Conte replied: “It is not easy to reply to this kind of question. I think that the it is normal to try to bring a player to be angry and then to react and to commit another foul. It’s normal this”.

“I think the great news is that Diego is showing to be a great player, also in this aspect. I know in the past sometimes he has received two yellow cards and he has not finished the game, but this season, honestly, I have to be pleased for him and for his beahviour.”

Conte brought on Cesc Fabregas switching to a 4-3-3 formation in the second half.

“This is not the first time as this happened also against Burnley. – the Italian manager pointed out - When you want to take more risks, to try to take three points and not only one, to try to change”. 

“For sure there is the great possibility to score the goal, but also to concede a goal. You must know this but then I prefer to decide and risk to take three points. In other situations I decide to keep the result.”

 

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Antonio Conte denied rumors that Eden Hazard would have suffered an injury in the F.A. Cup game against Manchester United last week.

The Italian manager, speaking after the game against Stoke City, confirmed that Hazard has a calf problem which was picked up at Cobham.

“Hazard? He felt a big problem in his calf in the last training. That is the reason he didn’t play today” Conte said.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte put his thoughts on last Blues’ win against Stoke City.

“I am pleased because to play Stoke at this point of the season, you have to be prepared mentally and physically – Conte said speaking after the game – For this reason, we won today. It was a tough game, we tried to play football and deserved to win. We faced a really good team”.

Gary Cahill scored a late and crucial goal to secure Chelsea a narrow win in a very tough clash.

“I am pleased for Gary Cahill – Conte added - Because we conceded a penalty after a little push from him. To score the winning goal is great for him and our team”.

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has admitted he believes Chelsea won the Premier League title today, but Conte is focused on the next game as usual.

“We need to take 21 points for the title win – he added - There are 10 games to go, today was a great win, a good signal but it is important to continue with the same commitment and work rate as a team”.

“To have a 10 points gap, 13 at the moment, but I like to think our opponents will win tomorrow. We have to look at ourselves. We are happy. We must be ready to fight, today we were ready.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte heaved himself up in a chin-up – literally swinging on the dugout – to celebrate his side’s late goal against Stoke City.

Gary Cahill‘s winner means that Chelsea ‘can sit back’ – as the Blues’ captain himself said – waiting for their next Premier League game currently 13 points clear at the top of table.

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Stoke City lost a really narrow game at Britannia Stadium today, when Gary Cahill‘s late goal secured Chelsea a crucial win in the race to lift Premier League title.

After watching Antonio Conte‘s passionate celebration after the game, Mark Hughes told BBC Sport: “We are desperately disappointed we did not get anything out of the game. The ball dropped kindly for them and they got the winner”.

“It is Chelsea’s title now and you could see from their celebrations we ran them close. We have given a good account against the champions-elect”.

Then the former Chelsea striker added: “We kept on going, kept on moving the ball but there was a suggestion for a red card for our penalty. It was a little bit feisty, we gave everything and I cannot criticise our players.”

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill scored a late goal which means that the Blues are now 13 points clear at the top of the table, with Tottenham and Manchester City both playing tomorrow.

The defender said after the game: “The manager told us to keep playing our football and wins are all that matter at this stage. We only had two Premier League games in this month”.

Chelsea won even their last game at Olympic Stadium against West Ham United, who lost against Leicester today.

Cahill added: “We managed to get the results and now we can sit back and watch tomorrow’s games. There will be pressure. I have played in that situation where a team has won and you have to go out and get a result.”

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Chelsea are 13 points clear at the top of Premier League table after beating Stoke City in a narrow and tough game at Britannia Stadium.

Antonio Conte’s side got the lead thanks to Willian‘s cheeky free-kick after only 13′, but Potters bounced back leveling the game from a penalty, after Cahill shoved Walters who scored from the spot.

Chelsea dominated the whole second half despite Mark Hughes‘ men produced some counter-attacks piling pressure on. Marcos Alonso hit the crossbar from a free-kick, while Stoke City’s goalkeeper Grant saved his side in several chances. 

Then Blues’ captain Gary Cahill scored from a corner with only 5′ left to go: David Luiz tried to score first but Erik Pieters’ clearance fell straight to Cahill, who did not miss the chance.

Both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Diego Costa went close to scoring before Stoke City’s defender Phil Bardsley was shown a red card for a late tackle on Fabregas, who came off the bench for Victor Moses as Antonio Conte switched from a 3-4-2-1 system to a 4-3-3 formation.

Chelsea are now ever closer to the Premier League title.

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