Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Stoke 3 Chelsea 2

Oussama Assaidi was not even born the last time Stoke City defeated Chelsea but produced a sensational winner to stun Jose Mourinho.

Assaidi settled an absorbing encounter with a wonderful strike in the final minute as Mourinho was left to reflect on an opportunity wasted to edge closer to leaders Arsenal.

Chelsea had appeared on course for their ninth win in the last 11 games against Stoke after Andre Schurrle’s early goal, in a first half they dominated, but Stoke responded with a performance that was a throwback to the gritty days of the early years in the Premier League under Tony Pulis.

And just when Stoke appeared on course for a deserved point, Assaidi, signed on loan from Liverpool, cut inside to beat Petr Cech and condemn Mourinho to his third league defeat of the season. John Terry will not look back fondly on his 33rd birthday.

The last time Stoke defeated Chelsea in the league was 1975 when Mud were No. 1 with ‘Oh Boy’ and there have been enough chastening experiences along the way.

Chelsea had been one of the few teams to emerge from the Potteries with their noses unbloodied since Stoke’s promotion to the top flight and another jaunt looked ominous after Schurrle had given them the lead in the 10th minute.

There seemed nothing on when the German received the ball from John Obi Mikel 30 yards out but he easily bypassed Ryan Shawcross, twice, before arrowing a low shot across Asmir Begovic into the bottom corner.

Schurrle’s goal, his second for Chelsea, set the tone for a half they largely dominated. Eden Hazard, so inspired against Sunderland on Wednesday night, produced another menacing performance, tiptoeing his way through Stoke’s midfield and constantly finding space.

Chelsea had chances to increase their lead, with Juan Mata shooting straight at Begovic before Ramires lofted the ball over the crossbar. “You’re going down with United” chanted the Chelsea fans, yet Mourinho clearly seemed perturbed at only being a goal ahead, frequently displaying his repertoire of extravagant gestures.

His anxiety proved well-founded. Stoke, who lost Charlie Adam through injury in the early stages, had offered little but equalised three minutes before half-time. Marko Arnautovic’s corner was not cleared and Crouch reacted quickest to turn and shoot under Petr Cech.

While that goal was scruffy, their second was exquisite, six minutes into the second half. Jon Walters advanced down the right and sent Ireland clear and the midfielder curled a wonderful shot into the far corner.

Their lead lasted barely two minutes, however. Mata’s free kick ricocheted off Crouch in the area and Schurrle’s half-volley gave Begovic no chance. Schurrle almost had a hat-trick, bending a shot that struck the top of the bar.

It was now a riveting encounter and Ireland nearly added his second when Crouch presented with him a chance from eight yards but his finish was poor, leaning back to sidefoot the ball into the stands.

Chelsea suffered frustration in their attempts to find a winner, almost trying to walk the ball in, and their last opportunity came in the form of a tame free kick from substitute Frank Lampard.

Assaidi then produced a moment of magic to secure Mark Hughes only his second league win since August.

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