Chelsea are not the team they used to be at the moment.The team rebuild that Villas-Boas was attempting is no more,unwisely I suspect.Di Matteo is unlikely to be given the time or money for the major surgery that is necessary.His inclination for this match was to bring back into the side some of the players who have caused AVB to fall short.
Stoke, you felt,had their best chance to take points away from Stamford Bridge since promotion to the Premiership.Certainly,looking at the teamsheet they were set to do so.We rode our luck early doors,looked to be blunting the home side's edge,when Ricaro Fuller - so often our saviour over six wonderful years - applied a one man wrecking ball to our masterplan.
So often he has turned a game in our favour with his magical skills, close control,and eye for goal.Selected to start the game perhaps he could snatch a goal from nothing as he has done so often.No-one who has seen him play could have been in any doubt that he has a short fuse.
Only he can know what was going through his mind,when, following several niggles with Serbian defender Ivanovic,following a further challenge on 25 minutes, our man turned back and stamped on his man.An immediate red card,and realistically an end to our chances of getting anything from this match.
Chelsea were poor,taking a further 40 minutes to break the ten men down.Mata put Drogba in to score from close range on 65 minutes.