Chelsea 1 Stoke 1: Courtois error gifts Potters late equaliser

5 Mar

Hiddink has had a huge impact since answering Chelsea’s SOS in December after Jose Mourinho’s side crumbled.


No manager has gone 12 unbeaten matches at the start of a single spell at a Premier League club.

With Diego Costa injured, he ignored the experienced Loic Remy and gave Bertrand Traore his home debut. Result? The Burkina Faso forward, 20, struck a wonderful opening goal that evoked memories of legend Peter Osgood, whose death ten years ago last week was poignantly marked yesterday.

Eden Hazard has started working for a living once more while Chelsea’s Boys from Brazil – Willian and Oscar – were constant thorns in Stoke’s tough and unrelenting defence.

The trio moved the ball swiftly, often cheekily, but failed to get a response from colleagues around them.

But Stoke are a dogged side. They make you fight to earn the right to play and can also play themselves.

Ibrahim Afellay forced a great, full-length 20th-minute save from Thibaut Courtois when it looked as if Chelsea had taken control of the game.

Stoke proved masters of the counter-attack and Xherdan Shaqiri, Afellay and Marko Arnautovic were always menacing and Chelsea’s defence could not afford to sleep.

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