STOKE CITY FC 0 CHELSEA 0
There was a time when Stoke would probably have lost this match.For a 20 minute period in the second half today they could well have done.Etherington and Delap had left the field injured,Chelsea brought on important subs,Anelka,Drogba,and Benayoun,and increased the pace and intensity of their game.Stoke wobbled but did not capitulate,anchored as they were by Captain Ryan Shawcross,and the immaculate and experienced positional play of Jonathan Woodgate.Able assistance was rendered by Huth,Wilson,but above all Begovic in goal who had a storming game.
The first half was Stoke's.No longer do we sit back,rather we take the game to the visitors,illustrious or not.We did not score ,but not for lack of attacking intent.Walters, Jones,Etherington,and Pennant conducted a stiff examination of the visiting back four.Alex in particular looked uncomfortable when faced with the considerable physical challenge of Kenwynne Jones.Goalie Cech had to be on his toes a number of times,faced with a series of corners, freekicks, and Rory Delap throw ins as Stoke exerted concerted pressure.
The second half belonged to Chelsea as Stoke's effort flagged.The visitors had chances,but could not convert them into goals.Stoke attacked occasionally,but for the most part had to focus on containment.
A hard earned and well deserved point,from the first of three difficult home matches.