Tags Posts tagged with "Stoke City"

Stoke City

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Cesc Fabregas was a guest of Sky Sports program Monday Night Football tonight, commenting the game between Spurs and Stoke City, that Pochettino’s side won 4-0 with braces by Harry Kane and Dele Alli, reducing the gap from Leicester from 7 to 5 points, having the Foxes drew 2-2 with West Ham yesterday.

The Chelsea midfielder revealed he doesn’t want Tottenham to win the league:

“Hopefully not, I don’t want Spurs to win it to be honest.

“For what they’ve done through the season I’d love Leicester to win the Premier League.”

Chelsea can be decisive in the title race since they will host Spurs at Stamford Bridge on Monday 2 May, with three games to go, and Leicester in the last fixture, on Sunday 15 May.

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Jack Butland has decided to stay at Stoke-on-Trent and has reportedly rejected a move to Chelsea.

The England international, who is currently with a broken ankle, would have been in the squad to go to the Euros in the summer, anyway his great performances linked with a big move away in the summer.

He told Goals: “It wasn’t the need to play straight away. It was kind of ‘what’s the next step and how can I build my career next?. I just felt at the time I didn’t want to get bogged down at a big club.”

 “I’d always back myself to try and do well, but I didn’t want to get bogged down and be another number. It felt like the next step for me was at Stoke and that was somewhere I could really develop and build something.”

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Bertrand Traore has been living a magical moment since he started to get more playing time with Guus Hiddink.

The youngster always makes an impact in the games and yesterday he scored a beautiful goal that until five minutes to go was letting Chelsea win over Stoke City:

“I took the decision to turn and shoot and it was on target,” he explains speaking to Chelsea website.

“It was a great shot, so I’m happy with it.

“Of course we wanted to take the three points and they scored a late equaliser, so it feels like a defeat, but we have to keep our heads up for Wednesday’s game.

Baba Rahman started the game as well and Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench later:

“As young players they are big opportunities for us,”said Traore about him and the other young players.

“We have to push, knock on the door and work hard in training.

“Every player wants to be in the starting 11 every week. I’ve had the chance to start two games in a row so I’m very happy with that and I have to keep training well.

“From now we have to stay focused, go into training and get everything in place for Wednesday.”

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Diego Costa is injured again © Francesca Ceciarini

Diego Costa was set to start today against Stoke City but a minor tendon injury stopped him to play against Potters.

After the match Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink explained that it was more precaution and that the Spanish striker should be ok for next Wednesday crucial game against PSG:

“He had a little problem on the tendon,” the Dutch coach revealed.

“So that’s why I was bit cautious not to take the risk of worsening the situation. I think he will be OK on Wednesday.”

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Nemanja Matic in action © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is optimistic and believes that the Blues, now 10th in the table with 40 points – 10 points under Manchester City that occupies the fourth spot with 50 points and one game in hand- can still finish in the top four.

“We’re a big team and we want to be closer to the top four,” the Serbian midfielder stated after the draw with Stoke City.

“It’s very difficult to catch them but we will try our best to win every game.

“We can certainly be in the top six and who knows what happens if we keep winning.

“It’s difficult – and maybe impossible – but in football anything can happen.”

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink is obviously frustrated after getting a draw at home against Stoke with the Potters scored the equaliser with five minutes to go:

“Yeah of course frustrating because we conceded a late goal – that is always frustrating.

“We scored a beautiful goal through Traore and then in the second half I think there was one key moment when the penalty was not awarded on Oscar, if you see it it was a clear, clear, clear penalty.

“I don’t often say that, but it would have been given as a free-kick if it was outside the box. I think it was a key moment but we must not say that Stoke was not pushing.

“They got encouraged by that, and they have some very creative players in the attacking part of team. At the end I think it was a fair result.”

He added: “Yeah, that’s difficult, almost impossible. Especially when other teams are also knocking on that door.

“Today’s result of West Ham for instance, we are respectful that they are also knocking on that door as well.

“You have to win, as we said, all the games.

“At the other end we know where we come from in December, one point off the relegation zone, amazingly we did it in a relatively short time to get safe of course, but also going into the mid of the table.

“Normally at Chelsea the standard is not enough, but after this season, If we can go into a very beautiful March and April it would be nice – I am referring to the upcoming Champions League and FA Cup competitions.”

Yeah of course frustrating because we conceded a late goal – that is always frustrating.

“We scored a beautiful goal through Traore and then in the second half I think there was one key moment when the penalty was not awarded on Oscar, if you see it it was a clear, clear, clear penalty.

“I don’t often say that, but it would have been given as a free-kick if it was outside the box. I think it was a key moment but we must not say that Stoke was not pushing.

“They got encouraged by that, and they have some very creative players in the attacking part of team. At the end I think it was a fair result.”

About reaching the fourth spot he admitted:

“Yeah, that’s difficult, almost impossible. Especially when other teams are also knocking on that door.

“Today’s result of West Ham for instance, we are respectful that they are also knocking on that door as well.

“You have to win, as we said, all the games.

“At the other end we know where we come from in December, one point off the relegation zone, amazingly we did it in a relatively short time to get safe of course, but also going into the mid of the table.

“Normally at Chelsea the standard is not enough, but after this season, If we can go into a very beautiful March and April it would be nice – I am referring to the upcoming Champions League and FA Cup competitions.”

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Stoke City manager Mark claims his side deserved the draw at Stamford Bridge for their display in the second part of the game:

“As the second half progressed there was a feeling around the stadium that we were the team likely to get the next goal,” the ex Blues player stated at the end of the match.

“We deserved a point and actually felt hard done by because in the first half we created two or three really good opportunities which we didn’t convert and then we got done with the sucker punch against the run of play.

“When that happens you can be deflated, but in fairness we had completely the opposite reaction. Everyone was encouraged by what we’d produced in the first half and said to carry on doing what we’d been doing.

“I was a little bit fortunate because I was going to take Mame Diouf off just before he scored,” he admitted”That’s the fortune you need.”

 

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Chelsea were great value for their 1-0 lead at half time. They grew in confidence as the half progressed and a fantastic goal from Traore in the 39th minute saw them in at the break with the lead.

Chelsea began the second half as they finished the first, lots of possession and attacking runs in the Stoke City half. Stoke struggling to compete and contain the Chelsea front men.

After 10 minutes of the second half, Stoke managed to get a little bit of possession and were trying to claw their way back into the game. They passed the ball around well, looking for some space around the Chelsea box. The ball eventually found its way to Shaqiri, he hit the ball well but Courtois was equal to it and tipped around his left hand post.

Instantly at the other end, Chelsea went on a counter attack after Muniesa lost the ball. Willian travelled well and hit the ball from a tight angle, forcing a good save from Jack Butland.

After 70 minutes had passed, Chelsea still kept up the high pressure and always looked threatening when going forward.

The 74th minute saw a Willian free-kick from 30-yards fizz passed Jack Butlands right hand post.

After some Stoke pressure, in the 85th minute Diouf finds himself in the box with a good header and a mistake from Courtois see’s the ball fly into the Chelsea net.

Chelsea looked comfortable for the most part but Couldn’t keep Stoke City out.

The game finished 1-1

 

 

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An even start to the game with both teams sharing possession but Traore had a small chance in the 5th minute as the ball came in from the right wing, he missed his kick and the chance was gone.

10 minutes in and some good interchange from the Chelsea players. Willian drove with the ball and played a fancy flick but the attack came to nothing as Stoke cleared the ball well.

Oscar managing a strike in the 17th minute but team-mate Eden Hazard couldn’t get out of the way and ball struck the Belgian on the back.

Chelsea began to dominate the game with possession and have a few threatening shots towards the Stoke City goal.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois  making a good save from Affelay and forcing a corner. The resulting corner got headed away and Muniesa couldn’t control his volley which flew over the cross bar.

Azpilicueta did well to dispossess the Stoke midfield which gave Willian the chance to strike the ball but it fizzed past the cross bar with Jack Butland seemingly having it covered.

Just after the half hour mark, Chelsea had 3 shots on target but all three were blocked. Willian with the last which resulted in a corner but it came to nothing. High Chelsea pressure though that saw Stoke City struggling to contain the attacking minds of the Chelsea players.

A wasted chance for Stoke in the 36th minute. Shaqiri made it to the dead ball line and stood the ball up for Diouf at the far post, the Stoke City striker took his eye off the ball and couldn’t keep it down.

Chelsea took the lead in the 38th minute. A fantastic strike from Traore 20-yards out left Jack Butland absolutely no chance in reaching it. Chelsea‘s confidence had been growing as the half went on and a well deserved lead for the Blues.

The half drew to a close with Chelsea having a lot of the ball in-and-around the Stoke City 18-yard box. Chelsea go in at the break 1-0. Great value for their lead.

 

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