Cahill’s late goal snatches victory for Chelsea at Stoke

Cahill’s late goal snatches victory for Chelsea at Stoke
United Bank for Africa

Gary Cahill made up for conceding a penalty kick by scoring a late winner as Chelsea moved closer to the English Premier League (EPL) title with victory at Stoke.

Newsverge reports that the England defender settled a heated encounter three minutes from time by sweeping home after Stoke failed to clear a Willian corner kick.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa was involved in a running battle with Stoke’s defenders — being booked himself and involved in incidents that saw Bruno Martins Indi and Phil Bardsley cautioned.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men late on when Bardsley was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Willian had given Chelsea a first-half lead with an in-swinging free-kick from the left that caught out goalkeeper Lee Grant at his near post.

Stoke defender Martins Indi then had a goal ruled out for a push by team-mate Saido Berahino on Cesar Azpilicueta.

However, the home side drew level when Cahill was ruled to have pushed Jon Walters, who blasted in the resulting penalty kick.

The visitors had nearly all the chances, with Marcos Alonso firing a free-kick against the bar and Pedro denied by a fine Grant save.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has spoken in the past of his admiration for Costa — a striker of undoubted talent who plays on the edge.

Hughes, a fearsome centre-forward in his playing days, has suggested he sees a bit of his own playing style in Costa’s game.

The Spain international certainly did his best to rough up Stoke’s defenders, and seemed in danger of getting sent off after he was booked with barely a quarter-of-an-hour gone.

His tussles with Martins Indi were a feature of the game from the off, and referee Anthony Taylor had to speak to both players following an early off-the-ball tangle.

Costa, though, drew the Stoke defenders into the battle — and then concentrated more on his football after half-time to keep himself out of trouble.

He made sure not to retaliate when Bardsley clattered him shortly before the break, then forced Martins Indi into a challenge for which he was booked.

There was to be no goal for Costa — chasing his 50th in the Premier League — but he still came out smiling as Stoke lost their discipline.