Chelsea 2-1 Stoke: What Premier League landmark have Chelsea reached?
"He is up there for me with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," John Terry raved about man-of-the-match Eden Hazard after Chelsea beat Stoke City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to take another step closr to the Premier League title. "Plus he can only get better and better."
Terry's post-match praise echoed what many present to witness the game had felt too, after an outstanding performance by the Belgian winger included a goal and an assist to contribute directly to Chelsea going seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with eight games remaining and a game in hand.
Though Hazard was exceptional it was Loic Remy who grabbed the winner. Charlie Adam also lit up the game with an absolute wonder-strike from inside his own half to equalise with Stoke's first shot on target of the game a minute before half time. Unfortunately for Adam and the Potters, the goal proved in vain, but both Jose Mourinho and Mark Hughes agreed after the game it was a goal of the season contender.
Stoke had not scored for over six years at Stamford Bridge ahead of Saturday's trip to the capital, and the game looked like following a familiar pattern after Eden Hazard's 17th goal of the season deservedly put Chelsea in front, after Philipp Wollscheid brought Cesc Fabregas down in the area six minutes before half time.
It was difficult to see how Stoke would get back into the game, but Adam took matters into his own hands with a sensational equaliser a minute before the break.
The midfielder looked up before trying his luck with an astonishing left-footed strike from inside his own half. Although Courtois got a hand on the ball after desperately scrambling back from the edge of his penalty area, he was unable to prevent what was an incredible strike.
Jose Mourinho left Diego Costa on the bench, stating ahead of the game that it would be a "gamble" to play the striker due to his hamstring problems, and that risk back-fired when he was injured again just 11 minutes after coming on at half-time.
Loic Remy had replaced Costa in the starting line-up and, just as he did at Hull City last time out, the France forward scored the winner following a mistake from the otherwise outstanding Asmir Begovic as Chelsea continued their march towards regaining the title. Hazard provided it, and his quest to be crowned Premier League Player of the Season continues.
- Eden Hazard’s converted penalty was Chelsea’s 100th in Premier League history. Liverpool (102) are the only other team to reach that milestone.
- Hazard scored at Stamford Bridge for the first time since December in the league; his last 5 goals had all come on the road.
- Hazard has scored 9 out of 9 Premier League penalties - the joint most of any player with a 100% record (along with Dimitar Berbatov).
- Chelsea have now opened the scoring in 24 of their 30 Premier League games this season.
- Charlie Adam became the first Stoke player to score a league goal at Stamford Bridge since Rory Delap (January 2009).
- Loic Remy has scored 3 goals in 3 games against Stoke.
- Hazard has now both scored and assisted in 7 different Premier League games since joining Chelsea.
- Chelsea have scored 99 goals in all competitions this season.
- Chelsea are the only team in the four divisions of English football who have not lost a home match in the league this season.
- Chelsea have won 11 and lost just 1 of their 14 Premier League meetings with Stoke.
- Stoke were shown 6 yellow cards, the joint-most by any team in a single PL match this season.