After the international break, players are finally back to their respective teams, and our focus returns to the Premier League once again.
Chelsea are currently drawing 1-1 at half-time with Stoke City. Whilst the away team has nothing to play for, except trying to bounce back from a defeat to Crystal Palace in their last game, it is a completely different story for the Blues, who are looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
Chelsea have looked anything but Premier League leaders in the recent weeks struggling against the league’s bottom teams, but the first half today will give most at Stamford Bridge some encouragement that the Blues can finish off the title race.
Chelsea started well as they started to put early some pressure on Stoke City. Loic Remy, who has come in for Diego Costa, was lively in and around the box and was getting good service from the wings, in particular Eden Hazard. Asmir Begovic was disappointing the Chelsea fans as he kept the home side out of the Stoke net. But he could do nothing about the Blues’ opener.
The breakthrough came shortly before half time, when the influential Cesc Fabregas was brought down in the box by a sliding tackle from Stoke defender Philipp Wollscheid. The referee Jon Moss had neither choice nor hesitation as he pointed to the spot. Hazard stepped up, and coolly waited for Begovic to make the first move before rolling the ball confidently the other way.
Chelsea looked set to go back to dressing room with 1-0 lead. But Stamford Bridge was stunned when Stoke equalised through Charlie Adam, with what is surely the goal of the season. The Scotsman spotted Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois off his line, and fired a powerful strike from 60 yards out which flew over the head of the backpedalling Belgian.
Despite this extra-ordinary setback, Chelsea are sure to steal all three points based on their dominance of the first half.