Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Cahill strikes late as leaders Chelsea snatch win at Stoke

Cahill strikes late as leaders Chelsea snatch win at Stoke

Arsenal's downfall once again was its porous defense with Craig Dawson heading in twice from corners. The real race is for top four.

"My players were prepared to fight to win this game because it wasn't easy".

Chelsea have played just twice in the Premier League this month, winning 2-1 against both West Ham and Stoke.

Even if Antonio Conte carried on saying the right things to guard against complacency, the wildly exuberant fashion in which the Chelsea manager celebrated Saturday's Premier League win at Stoke suggested a man who senses a title-winning triumph.

Chelsea had looked set for a comfortable afternoon when Willian scored a 13th- minute free kick, his shot squeezing into the net after a blunder from Stoke keeper Lee Grant, who could only fumble the ball over his own line.

Hughes will accept that they are the underdogs, but there will be an inner belief within his squad that they can cause the upset and the performance of Marko Arnautovic is likely to be key, despite the Serbian not enjoying his greatest season in terms of goals. Cahill sent Walters tumbling and referee Taylor pointed to the spot, the Republic of Ireland global drilling home the penalty himself.

For Gary Cahill it was a moment of redemption.

Craig Shakespeare's side scored twice inside the first seven minutes through Riyad Mahrez and Robert Huth, while Jamie Vardy added a third - which proved to be the victor - either side of strikes from Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew for West Ham.

Manuel Lanzini's 20th-minute free-kick reduced the arrears before Jamie Vardy slammed in Leicester's third.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Enner Valencia were also on target, while Hull lost Tom Huddlestone to a red card for a foul on Idrissa Gueye. A neutral might have been thinking that this game has got a draw written all over it so we wanted to keep going. The 25-year-old won the League Cup last season but his side's best chance of silverware this year is now the FA Cup after being knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco on Wednesday.

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has denied that his players deliberately tried to antagonise Diego Costa during today's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the bet365 Stadium.

Elsewhere, Sunderland remain bottom after only managing a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley, while 17th place Swansea were unable to pull clear of the relegation zone after losing 2-0 at Bournemouth.

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