Jump to content

Remy rescue act sends Chelsea seven clear


Recommended Posts

Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League following a tense victory over Mark Hughes' Stoke City.

After a whirlwind start which saw the Potters' goalkeeper Asmir Begovic make a stunning save to turn aside Loic Remy's deflected strike, Eden Hazard set the ball rolling from the penalty spot after Cesc Fabregas had been upended inside the box.

But Charlie Adam, in a moment of stupendous vision, took advantage of a lapse in concentration by Thibaut Courtois to lob the Chelsea goalkeeper from fully 60 yards.

After losing Diego Costa - a half-time substitute - to a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury which had kept him out of action for Spain during the international break, Remy then bagged the winner as he converted Hazard's cut back.

With Chelsea now needing just sixteen points from their remaining eight Premier League matches, this is a monumental win for José Mourinho's side - but, once again, the Blues prevailed after a fair few scares.

The Blues dominated the game both territorially and in terms of possession, and but for the brilliance of Begovic this could have been a more convincing win for Mourinho's charges. They now lead Arsenal by a seven-point margin, as well as having a game in hand on Arsene Wenger's team following their 4-1 demolition of Liverpool today.

Chelsea started the game at a great intensity, and after Remy's deflected drive was parried excellently by Begovic, it seemed a matter of when, not if, the breakthrough would arrive for the title-chasing hosts.

Remy - the hero in Chelsea's last game, up at Hull - looked the most likely to provide the opener, and Begovic again had to be on his toes to turn aside a fierce left-footed drive from the Frenchman after he was played in by Cesc Fabregas.

Courtois, a virtual spectator, was almost caught out by Steven Nzonzi's curling effort from 25 yards as the visitors finally registered an attempt after 25 minutes, whilst at the other end, Stoke's goalkeeper was continuing with his assured display when he made another fine save from the marauding Hazard.

More excellent build-up play saw Willian link up brilliantly with Hazard, who teed up Oscar inside the box, but from eight yards the Brazilian could only steer his shot wide of the target.

Chelsea were playing with a swagger and the next episode of fleet-footedness inside the penalty area resulted in the opening goal, as Fabregas, cleverly jinking inside, was wiped out by Philipp Wollscheid as he looked to square to the unmarked Remy.

Hazard duly dispatched the penalty with consummate ease, but just as the Blues thought that they could saunter through to rapturous applause at half-time they were caught by the most sensational of sucker-punches.

Instead they left to a chorus of disapproval as Adam, seeing Courtois on the edge of his box, sensationally stroked the ball home with a single swing of his left foot from at least 60 yards.

Left red-faced, Courtois was in a position every goalkeeper on earth would have been with the ball being in the opposite half - but just six days after a costly error in that victory at the KC Stadium, it was another untimely error in judgement by the Belgian, who was not even close to being alive to the danger.

That goal, strangely, came at a good time. After an opening fifteen minute blitz, Chelsea had been somewhat lethargic in attack and were lacking in their usual incisiveness, and the possibility of a Stoke leveller had been on the cards given the Blues' shaky home defensive record in recent weeks.

They re-emerged after the interval with a greater sense of purpose and bolstered by Diego Costa - and the reinvigorated Blues were again denied by a fine Begovic parry as he continued his duel with Hazard.

But Costa soon departed, again falling foul to a hamstring injury. That, coupled with the nature of Adam's freak goal and the form of Begovic, made it seem as if the footballing Gods were against the Blues this afternoon.

Yet Begovic, so outstanding and putting in an assured display, then suffered from a moment of madness that cost his team the game.

Errors seem to be endemic amongst the league's elite goalkeepers at present, and, following a rush of blood to the head, the Canadian-born goalkeeper saw his throw intercepted by Willian, who threaded it through to Hazard.

Drawing the goalkeeper out, Hazard sat Begovic on his backside before squaring to Remy, who made it 2-1.

Remy had scored with his first touch last time out; his ultimately game-securing strike here happened to be his last as he was replaced by Juan Cuadradro. With Costa set to be out for a minimum of a couple of weeks, Remy could well prove to be an ace in the hole for Mourinho as the Blues stride towards a first title in five seasons.

But, like in the first half, Chelsea looked vulnerable from the moment the game resumed, and as Stoke surged forward Nzonzi again tried his luck from distance; this time his effort kissed the post as Stoke proved exactly why they look set to break their record Premier League points haul this term.

Begovic made amends for his earlier error with a terrific double save to prevent Cuadrado from scoring his first Blues goal with a truly impressive piece of athleticism, but at the other end, Stoke substitute Marko Arnautovic wasted a promising opportunity when he lashed wide from an inadvertent Gary Cahill knock-down with four minutes of stoppage time signalled.

Mark Hughes complained about Didier Drogba's time-wasting antics in a delicious twist of irony given Stoke's own laissez-faire attitude to the notion of a quick restart throughout, but the Blues saw through the final throes without serious incident to make it a very happy Easter weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 2
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 0 members are here!

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

talk chelse forums

We get it, advertisements are annoying!
Talk Chelsea relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible, we need to run ad's to make sure we can stay online because over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this website and help us by switching your ad blocker off.

Thank You