FT: Stoke 1-2 Chelsea. They left it late, but Chelsea pick up a deserved win and now go 13 points clear at the top of the table.
- 2nd Half
- Martins Indi65'
- 1st Half
- Walters (P)38'
Stoke City - Chelsea
Premier League - 18 March 2017
Premier League – Follow the Football match between Stoke City and Chelsea live with Eurosport. The match starts at 23:00 on 18 March 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Bardsley picks up a second booking for clattering into Fabregas by the corner flag and he's off.
Grant tips a Loftus-Cheek shot wide.
Costa hits the post after being teed up by Pedro. With Stoke throwing men forward, Chelsea are having a lot of joy.
Four added minutes.
Pedro curls a shot just wide of the far post.
- OnKurt ZoumaChelsea
Zouma on for Willian.
- GoalGary CahillChelsea
GOAL! Chelsea lead! The corner isn't cleared by Pieters and falls to Cahill outs yards out who smashes in. Pieters has had a shocker.
Pieters concedes a cheap corner with a poor backpass.
Ramadan plays in Walters who overhits his square ball for Diouf, who would have had a great chance, and then after Stoke recycle the ball well Walters and Ramadan both have efforts that actually travel away from the Chelsea goal.
Stoke have improved in the last few minutes and Arnautovic wins another corner but they can't do anything with it.
- OffNemanja MaticChelsea
- OnRuben Loftus-CheekChelsea
Loftus-Cheek comes on for only his second Premier League appearance of the season in place of Matic.
Stoke finally have another shot as Arnautovic sees an effort blocked.
Diouf wins Stoke a corner to give the defence some restbite.
The goal remains the only shot Stoke have had.
Costa heads an Azpilicueta cross over. All Chelsea now.
A Chelsea corner is taken long to Pedro at the top of the box but he scuffs his shot.
Willian slips in Pedro down the left of the penalty area and his first-time shot is tipped wide by Grant at his near post.
Willian on teh left cuts the ball back for Fabregas who gets tackled just as he was about to shoot.
- OffVictor MosesChelsea
- OnCesc FàbregasChelsea
Fabregas on for Moses to boos from the home fans, and Chelsea switch to a back four it seems.
Grant spills a Willian corner after colliding with his own player and is fortunate to win a free-kick.
Matic shoots from range and Grant saves comfortably.
Arnautovic bursts into the Chelsea box and buys himself some time before crossing fro Ramadan, who tees up Allen, but the Welshman chooses not to shoot and the opportunity goes as Kante gets a foot in.
Alonso curls the resultant free-kick over the wall onto the bar!
- Yellow cardErik PietersStoke City
Willian pokes a through ball for Pedro to chase and just as he gets there Pieters brings him down. It's just a booking for Pieters, who is probably lucky Pedro was running away from goal slightly
From a free-kick at least 40 yards out, Luiz goes for goal and Grant looks far from comfortable as he spills the ball but gets away with it.
- OffSaido BerahinoStoke City
- OnMame Biram DioufStoke City
Berahino, who has done very little apart from push Azpilicueta for the disallowed goal, makes way for Diouf.
More aggro between Shawcross and Costa after they get tangled up with one another. Pieters is back on the pitch too.
Pieters is down injured so we have a stoppage in play.
Kante slips in Alonso down the left and his shot is deflected behind.
Arnautovic does really well to shrug off Alonso and see the ball out for a goal kick. Stoke wingers have both contributed in defence today.
Stoke think the ball's gone out of play but Pedro carries on and racing into the box where Cameron puts the ball behind for a goal kick.
Ramadan skins Azpilicueta on the outside but then can't find a team-mate with his cutback from the byline.
- 2nd Half
Stoke get the game back underway.
- End of 1st Half
HT: 1-1. An eventful first half comes to a close. Chelsea will feel hard done by becasue the penalty was soft, but Stoke have played well and will be annoyed at how they conceded. Costa is playing the part of pantomime villian excellently.
Getting the excuses in early.
Costa takes a free-kick down excellently on his chest but Shawcross pokes the ball clear before he can shoot.
Four added minutes, as Costa rages at Martins Indi.
Costa goes to ground again, this time not winning a free-kick, and he and Cameron have more words.
Luiz picks out Pedro with a long ball over the top and he cuts back onto his right foot but lashes over from 12 yards.
The penalty, it must bhe said, was very soft. Cahill certainly nudges Walters, who went down very easily, but it's one of those where if you give a penalty for that you should be given five or six a game.
- Yellow cardPhil BardsleyStoke City
Bardsley catches Costa with a high foot and this time it will be a booking.
With Costa on the floor, Shawcross takes a few kicks at both him and the ball but escapes a card.
- Goal by penaltyJonathan WaltersStoke City
GOAL! Walters emphatically dispatches the penalty into the roof of the net. 1-1.
PENALTY! A free-kick is sent into the box and Coutois claims easily but the referee points to the spot after Chaill was adjudged to have pushed Walters!
Up at the other end, a cross to the back post is just too high for Costa to reach.
Cameron's header back into the box is diverted into the net by Martins Indi but the goal is rightly disalowed because Berahino pushed over Azpilicueta, allowing Martins Indi to head home unchallenged.
Great covering from Kante to block a low Arnautovic cross at teh near post.
Willian plays a free-kick by the corner flag to the top of the box and Chelsea work an opening for Alonso, who runs in behind the defence to meets a chipped ball. This time though Grant is equal to the shot, which was straight at him.
Batshuayi, by the way, has already been instructed to warm up by Conte.
Both Luiz and Walters are able to continue.
Stoppage now after a clash of heads between Walters and Luiz, who looks to have come off worse.
Costa goes on a mazy run inside Stoke's area, with defenders scared to touch him, but he can't quite get a shot away.
The referee accidently intercepts an Allen pass and sets Chelsea off on a counter-attack but it ultimately comes to nothing.
Costa slips in Willian who shows great awareness to in turn find Moses with a backheel but the Nigerian's low shot is blocked. Great play from Chelsea.
The goal remains the only shot of the match so far and, despite Willian's qiock thinking, will have to go down as a goalkeeping error.
Allen picks Kante's pocket and via Ramadan sets up Pieters to cross but the fullback puts the ball into the stands.
- Yellow cardDiego CostaChelsea
Costa, having felt he was fouled by Martins Indi, earns himself a booking for dissent.
- Yellow cardJoe AllenStoke City
Allen sythes down Pedro to pick up the first booking of the game.
GOAL! 1-0 to Chelsea! With Grant waiting for a cross, Willian fires the free-kick low at the near post and past the goalkeeper, who can't keep it out despite getting two hands to the ball.
Arnautovic fouls Alonso about five yards outside the box on Chelsea's left, giving them a great position for a free-kick.
Plemty of needle Costa and Martins Indi already, as the former is penalised for hauiling the latter to the ground.
Costa goes to ground very easily near Cameron, who gesticulates for him to get up, and the home fans also don't hold back in letting Costa know how they feel. No free-kick.
Alsonso overhots a through ball in search of Pedro, allowing Grant to come off his line and collect.
Ramadan tries to shepheard the ball out for a Stoke goal kick but it stops before the byline, forcing him to try and play his way out of trouble and, despite having Moses for company, he is able to do so.
As it so often is at this ground, it's a windy day. Both teams are in their traditional colours and we're yet to see any chances.
- 1st Half
Chelsea get the game underway.
Anthony Taylor is today's referee.
The teams are on their way out and kick-off is imminent.
The Potters are unbeaten in eight home Premier League games.
Ten minutes until kick-off, so here's a reminder of the teams in full. STOKE CITY: Grant, Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Arnautovic, Cameron, Allen, Ramadan, Walters, Berahino. Subs: Given, Muniesa, Affelay, Whelan, Adam, Diouf, Crouch. /// CHELSEA: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Pedro, Costa, Willian. Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Ake, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek, Batshuayi, Fabregas.
This will be only the second Premier League game of the season where Hazard doesn't start for Chelsea. The other, away at Sunderland, they won 1-0.
Saido Berahino, meanwhile, hasn't scored a competitive goal in more than a year. His last came at the end of February 2016 in a Premier League win for West Brom over Crystal Palace.
Diego Costa is on 49 Premier League goals. If he scores today it will have taken him 80 games to reach 50 goals, edging out Sergio Aguero by a match to become the fifth fastest player to that landmark. Andy Cole (65 games), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Fernando Torres (72) are the only men to do it quicker.
While Hughes was flattering of the opposition, so too was Conte. “Stoke are a really strong, physical team with great players - for this reason, we must pay great attention and focus,” he said. “In the game at Stamford Bridge, Stoke City played very well. We won 4-2, but the game was played very well by both teams. They have a really good team, a good coach, and for sure they want to prepare in the right way for this game. We will have a tough test.”
This was one of those deafeats, and what a game it was. Oussama Assaidi, by the way, is now at FC Twente after a two-year spell in the UAE.
Meanwhile Chelsea will be bouyed by the knowlege that in 17 Premier League meetings they have only twice been defeated by Stoke.
Hughes and his players will take heart from teh fact that Stoke have won the last two meetings between these two at the bet365 Stadium. One was in the Premier League and the other was a League Cup tie they won 5-4 on penalties.
It's fair to wsay Stoke boss Mark Hughes is under no illusions about the task his side face today. "You have to say that they [Chelsea] are the toughest challenge we will face because they are the most consistent team and have a way of playing which tactically is difficult to go up against,” he said this week. “If you try to stop one area of their progression then they will open up other areas of the pitch and are able to attack in another way. They have good flexibility within a solid structure."
Per Chelsea's Twitter account, Antonio Conte has said Hazard has "a little problem" keeping him sidelined.
As for the Chelsea team, the big news is that there's no Eden Hazard. He's not even on the bench, with Pedro replacing him in the only change to the side who edged out Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday.
The hosts make one change to teh side that drew 0-0 at Manchester City in their last match, with Marko Arnautovic replacing Mame Biram Diouf.
Godd afternoon and welcome to Eurosport's live coverage of Stoke City versus Chelsea. I don't think we'll have any planes towing banners, but there is a chance for the league leaders to go 13 points clear.