Stoke City cost Chelsea the chance to go within a point of league leaders Arsenal after coming from behind to win 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium.
Andre Schurrle grabbed a goal in either half, but Peter Crouch and Stephen Ireland kept the game level before Ossama Assaidi secured the points two minutes from time.
After Stoke’s 0-0 draw at home to Cardiff in midweek, Mark Hughes was under a lot of pressure going into today’s game, not helped by the fact the Stoke City haven’t beaten Chelsea in the league for nearly 40 years.
It took Chelsea just nine minutes to break the deadlock when Schurrle ran into the box, took on Ryan Shawcross and unleashed a low drive past Asmir Begovic.
The goal was under controversial circumstances with Charlie Adam down injured, play wasn’t stopped and the midfielder hadn't received treatment.
Adam then limped off to be replaced by Ireland. A few minutes later, and Chelsea could have doubled their lead when the ball fell for Juan Mata on the edge of the box but his shot was straight at Begovic.
Stoke’s first real chance came in the 37th minute when Marko Arnautovic’s cross found Jon Walters in the box, but he headed wide.
Stoke found the equaliser just before half-time, when Chelsea failed to clear the corner and Crouch managed to hit a shot from close range through the legs of both Ramires and Petr Cech on the goalline.
Stoke came out fighting in the second half and took the lead five minutes after half time when Walters found Ireland in space and the midfielder's shot from outside the area gave Cech no chance.
The lead lasted just three minutes; Stoke allowed Chelsea space and Schurrle again fired in a thunderbolt from outside the area that flew straight past Begovic.
Both teams had chances to wrap up the points in the closing stages, Schurrle was inches away from a hat trick after his strike stung the bar and Ireland curled a shot past Cech but the ball flew agonisingly wide.
Assaidi secured the points for Stoke minutes before the final whistle when bad defending allowed the striker cut in from the left and unleash a shot into the top right hand corner, giving Cech no chance.
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