An incredible strike from Charlie Adam couldn’t prevent Chelsea taking another step towards the Premier League title. Goals from Eden Hazard and Loic Remy helped the Blues move seven points clear at the top, nine points ahead of champions Manchester City. The only downside for the leaders was an injury to Diego Costa, who came off the bench at half time but lasted just 10 minutes.
With Costa benched, it was Remy who stepped up to lead the line after his goal against Hull last time out. Jose Mourinho said he owed the Frenchman a run in the side, as Costa’s performances have slightly overshadowed him. Aside from that change, it was pretty much the regular team for Chelsea, as they looked to move closer to sealing another title win.
They looked to be heading for the three points when Philipp Wollscheid brought down Cesc Fabregas in the box, gifting the hosts a penalty. Eden Hazard stepped up to take it, and converted his ninth penalty in nine attempts. That goal was deserved after his performance, and he’s beginning to stake a real claim to be crowned player of the year come the end of the season. The hosts looked to be going in ahead at half time, until an incredible strike changed the game.
The moment that will have everyone talking long after the season is over came from Adam. The midfielder spotted Thibaut Courtois off his line, and attempted an unlikely effort from inside his own half. The Scotsman was a full 60 yards out, and his effort curled from going wide, back towards the goal, sailing over the head of the Chelsea keeper, who couldn’t get a strong enough hand on it to keep it out. That goal had to be appreciated by all, and Mourinho even claimed Adam had done something the likes of Pele and Maradona struggled to do.
During the game it’s likely the Chelsea boss was more annoyed than impressed. His side were being held at home, and pre-match he told his team that they needed wins to secure the Premier League trophy. He made a change at half time, with Costa replacing Oscar. The Spaniard was on the bench due to having a niggling hamstring problem, which came back to haunt him during the game. He lasted just 10 minutes, and after the match the manager said he could be out for up to four weeks.
Costa was replaced by Didier Drogba, as the Blues kept two up front to trouble Stoke’s back four. In the end, the goalkeeper did most of the work for them. He threw the ball out, almost straight to Willian. He played in Hazard, who laid the ball on a plate for Remy after a mazy run. Remy tapped home, securing three vital points, with only 16 more needed until the title is secured.
LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard