Chelsea stumbled to a first league defeat against Stoke for 38 years, with a late screamer from substitute Oussama Assaidi earning all three points for Mark Hughes’ side at the Britannia.
The Blues had led after Acdre Schurrle’s superb swivel and shot into the far corner; but Peter Crouch capitalised from some poor Chelsea defending to draw his side level against the run of play.
Steven Ireland, on as an early substitute for the injured Charlie Adam, then gave Stoke the lead with a lovely curling effort. But Schurrle was on hand to crack in the equaliser soon after on the half-volley.
The game became increasingly more bad tempered as the minutes ticked down, before substitute Assaidi fired in from the edge of the box to secure the win for the home side.
Here are the Chelsea Player Ratings vs. Stoke:
Petr Cech: 5/10
Another three goals conceded on the road, but it was hard to fault the Czech for any of them. He may have done a little better at trying to get to the Assaidi pile-driver, but he had little chance really.
Branislav Ivanovic: 5/10
Despite a few over-hit crosses in the first half, Ivanovic was solid throughout. Lost Assaidi for the winning goal, which will have frustrated him.
John Terry: 6/10
The man you want if you come up against a physical side like Stoke; the former England captain won some towering headers, and was not afraid of the intimidation employed by the opposition.
Gary Cahill: 5/10
Usually an imposing figure in the heart of the Chelsea defence, Cahill didn’t close down Steven Ireland quick enough for the second Stoke goal, and was unusually shaky with long balls.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 5/10
A surprise choice at left-back, despite some promising displays there in recent weeks; Jose Mourinho kept faith with the Spaniard over Ashley Cole once more. Was targeted by the Stoke aggressors, and while he tried hard, was once more quite limited in the unorthodox role.
Jon Obi Mikel: 6/10
Tidy and composed throughout, Mikel showed good distribution; including the assist for the fist Schurrle goal. The Nigerian should have tracked the run of Steven Ireland for the second however. Came off for Lampard as Chelsea pushed for more goals.
By his usual standards, this was a poor display from the midfielder. Showed a few neat touches around the box; but blazed a few chances over, and was often out-muscled in the middle of the park. Can do better.
Juan Mata: 5/10
Some fine deliveries aside, this was a low-key performance from the man with a point to prove. Was tidy in possession, but rarely found those key passes that make him such a valuable commodity.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
Flitted around the pitch throughout, showing his superb turn of pace. He retained possession well, and was constantly trying to forge an opening for his teammates. No final ball in the end, but a strong showing.
Andre Schurrle: 8/10
A fantastic brace from the German; he bust a gut for the Chelsea casue today, and never stopped runnning. Has surely earned his place in the team for the next match; it may be a shrewd move to pop the 23-year-old up front! Came off for Eto’o late on.
Fernando Torres: 4/10
Never got into the game, despite some neat touches. To be fair to the Spaniard; Eto’o and Ba had as little chance to impress when they were introduced in the second half. More a lack of midfield creativity than a poor display from the 29-year-old. Came off for Ba just before the hour.
What do you think? Agree with the ratings? Let us know in the comments below…
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