Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City: Rare Cole goal keeps Blues top

  • As the Tiger of Jelutong finally rests, thousands pay tribute
    As the Tiger of Jelutong finally rests, thousands pay tribute

    GEORGE TOWN, April 20 — In a send-off befitting of the man who championed against injustice, thousands thronged Dewan Seri Pinang here today to pay Karpal Singh their final respects before his... …

  • DAP to hold memorial services to pay tribute to Karpal Singh
    DAP to hold memorial services to pay tribute to Karpal Singh

    In memory of their former chairman, the late Karpal Singh, the DAP will be organising memorial services at the state level beginning with Penang, a statement from the party said today. The national level memorial event will be held in Kuala Lumpur on April 24, the statement said. The venues and other details will be decided and released soon.... …

  • Utusan says MB heads to roll in two states

    Two states will see a change of Menteri Besar, claimed Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia today, although it did not name them. "Apparently, two Menteris Besar are expected to be replaced soon. Speculation on this has started, akin to the gentle evening winds along the beach,” Awang Selamat, the pseudonym for Utusan's collective editorial voice, wrote... …

  • Robot submarine completes 50% of MH370 underwater search area
    Robot submarine completes 50% of MH370 underwater search area

    The Bluefin-21 robot submarine has searched half of the focused underwater search area for flight MH370, as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet enters its 44th day, say Australian authorities. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said nothing has been found yet in the seven underwater searches. Another... …

  • Karpal inspired us, say mourners from near and far bidding farewell to their hero
    Karpal inspired us, say mourners from near and far bidding farewell to their hero

    As thousands of mourners bid farewell to the "Tiger of Jelutong", lawyer R. Joethy, 73, remembered his old law school buddy as one who rarely ever studied at university. Karpal Singh had so many distractions from his involvement in the student union where he was one of the leaders, Joethy said. "But he was very bright boy. He worked very... …

  • Karpal’s final journey
    Karpal’s final journey

    GEORGE TOWN, April 20 — The air in front of Number 144A, Jalan Utama was laden with grief and emotion as one of Penang’s most prominent sons, Karpal Singh, left his family home on his final journey... …

Chelsea maintained their place at the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over ;Stoke City at Stamford Bridge thanks to a late goal from Ashley Cole.

The Potters looked to have held on for a deserved point until the 85th minute, when Cole cooly finished from close range to notch his first top-flight strike for two years and keep the Blues on top of the pile.

Brazil starlet Oscar made his first Premier League start for the Blues after his stunning goal-scoring debut in the Champions League in midweek, while Petr Cech took the captain’s armband as John Terry and Frank Lampard were consigned to the substitutes bench.

Former Chelsea defender Robert Huth lined up for the visitors as they went in search of their first win of the season, having drawn their opening four league matches before their ignominious defeat to Swindon in the Capital One Cup.

The hosts began to dictate play from the off, with Stoke seemingly content to get as many men behind the ball as possible while allowing the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar to keep possession so long as they didn’t encroach on the penalty area.

Despite their early monopoly of the ball, Chelsea were struggling to find a way to break down Tony Pulis’ side and were fortunate not go a goal behind on the 20-minute mark. Glen Whelan whipped in a dangerous delivery from a free-kick to the right-hand side, John Walters ghosted in completely unmarked at the near post and flicked a header goalwards only to see the ball clip the top of the crossbar, with Cech motionless in the middle of his goal.

Chelsea responded with some sustained pressure and Branislav Ivanovic had a shout for a penalty waved away after he turned past Huth in the box, with replays showing he went to ground a little too readily for referee Michael Oliver’s liking although there was some contact between the players.

The Blues continued to dictate without finding a way through to Asmir Begovic’s goal, until Fernando Torres missed the best chance of the half for the hosts. Juan Mata clipped a simple ball over the top of the back four from the edge of the area, but the Spain striker couldn’t quite bring it down on his chest and Begovic was off his line smartly to smother the danger.

Stoke’s resilience was beginning to frustrate Roberto Di Matteo’s side. David Luiz tried his luck with an ambitious free-kick and Hazard scuffed a cross-come-shot wide of the far post, which only added to the tension around Stamford Bridge.

Indeed, the hosts had Cech to thank for preventing their frustration from growing as the Czech keeper was twice called into action as the half drew to a close. First he denied Marc Wilson from long-range as Chelsea failed to close him down, before diving smartly to save from Michael Kightly’s header after good interplay between Peter Crouch and Geoff Cameron.

Chelsea started the second half brightly and were denied another appeal for a penalty when Oscar burst through the middle before going down under a challenge from Huth. There was definite contact between the two although it was outside of the box, but referee Oliver opted to show a harsh yellow to the Brazilian for diving.

The Blues continued to hammer at the Potters' door, with first Oscar and then Torres being denied by the exploits of Begovic, before Crouch attempted a spectacular volley at the other end which sailed over the bar as Stoke tried to regain a foothold in the match.

Mata thought he had finally found a way through after some brilliant interplay between Oscar and Moses, but a terrific last-ditch tackle from Ryan Shawcross denied him at the near post. Then, just a moment later, Oscar cut inside from the byline and hit a low drive which Begovic just managed to cling on to with Mata waiting to pounce.

Both sides continued to look lively going forward going into the final period of the game. First John Obi Mikel wasted a great chance as he dragged his shot wide of Begovic's left-hand post following Torres' pass, before substitutes Michael Owen and Kenwyne Jones combined to tee up Matthew Etherington inside the area, who likewise fluffed his lines.

It was a miss which Etherington and Stoke would ultimately rue, however, as Chelsea finally broke the deadlock with just five minutes remaining. Ashley Cole burst forward with the ball from the edge of his own area and continued into the box after laying off to substitute Frank Lampard. He found Hazard, whose cross went beyond Mata and Cole was left to dink the ball over Begovic from just six yards out to the relief of the home fans inside the Bridge.

Stoke tried to rally in the closing minutes but Chelsea held on for all three points, keeping them top of the Premier League pile and putting pressure on the Manchester clubs ahead of their huge respective clashes against Liverpool and Arsenal tomorrow.

;

;

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • Langkawi MP unrepentant, continues insults on late Karpal, says Facebook user The Malaysian Insider
    Langkawi MP unrepentant, continues insults on late Karpal, says Facebook user

    A Barisan Nasional MP whose Facebook posting poking fun at the death of Karpal Singh shocked Malaysians has again insulted the late DAP leader, this time comparing him to a hostile figure in Islamic history who fought against Prophet Muhammad. Facebook user Shamsul Kamal Ariffin Mohd Nasir, 42, told The Malaysian Insider that Langkawi MP,... …

  • Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police The Malaysian Insider
    Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police

    Initial investigations have revealed that Karpal Singh’s Toyota Alphard crashed into a five-ton lorry in the accident yesterday that claimed his life and that of his assistant, Perak police said today. State police chief Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani also dismissed rumours and speculation that the accident was caused by the lorry crashing... …

  • Interfaith group ‘worried’ that ex-judge can have such ‘racist’ views The Malay Mail Online
    Interfaith group ‘worried’ that ex-judge can have such ‘racist’ views

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — An interfaith group expressed shock today at the “racist” views of a former high-ranking judge who had called the presence of large Hindu and Buddhist statues in the... …