Chelsea and Stoke City played out to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with the Potters preventing the home side from jumping past them in the Premier League table.

Both teams came off good midweek results, with Chelsea having beaten Norwich 2-1 and Stoke edging Newcastle 1-0 through Xherdan Shaqiri's screamer.

Diego Costa was a surprise exclusion from the Chelsea team, but Guus Hiddink confirmed - just before the game - that the Spanish striker had suffered a minor tendon injury. As a result, Bertrand Traore started in place of the Brazilian born striker.

Cesc Fabregas was another notable absentee, but he did feature among the substitutes.

​Both teams started the game brightly, and Traore - who also started against Norwich on Tuesday - had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the 4th minute, but completely missed Cesar Azpilicueta's cross.

Stoke, however, had gotten off to the better start, controlling the early possession and passing fluidly. Giannelli Imbula was the outstanding player in the first half, providing a dominating midfield presence.

Chelsea v Stoke City - Premier League

They did have two great opportunities to go ahead, but Mame Biram Diouf failed to get proper strikes on wonderful crosses from Ibrahim Afellay and Shaqiri. Afellay also got a good shot in, but Thibaut Courtois came out on top with a nice save.

Chelsea took a bit longer to settle in the game, but when they finally came to life, they really put the Potters to the test. Oscar would hit a shot on target, after some silky passing between Eden Hazard and Willian, but it was too weak to really beat Jack Butland.

Both Traore and Willian had close-range shots blocked by Stoke defenders after a fantastic bit of play. But the Blues were visibly missing the presence of Costa up front and Fabregas in the middle.


Stoke continued to pile the pressure, but it was Chelsea who would take the lead. Traore, who admittedly wasn't very impressive early on, scored with a magnificent shot from outside of the box. The 20-year-old picked a pass up from Nemanja Matic and took a few touches before rifling a shot home to score his fourth goal of the season.

The Blues would head into halftime with a 1-0 advantage, in spite of Branislav Ivanovic's best efforts to hand Stoke an easy goal during stoppage time.

The visitors began the second half much like they did the first, taking the game to Chelsea's defense. Marko Arnautovic forced a great save from Courtois with a powerful shot from outside the box.

Shaqiri would also test the Chelsea stopper with a cheeky shot after a nimble run into the box, but the keeper held on to the ball.

Stoke were quite fortunate to not concede a penalty when Marc Muniesa brought Oscar down in the box. Eric Pieters was also spared a second yellow after clipping Oscar late on. 


The visiting Potters would score an 85th minute goal through Diouf, who was in the right place to head the ball into the net after Courtois punched Shaqiri's cross away.

Courtois was again called upon, during the four minutes of stoppage time, when Imbula made a powerful and energetic run along the byline to play a neat pass to Bojan Krkić. Bojan got off a good shot, but Courtois made a great save to keep the point for Chelsea.

The Blues will no doubt be disappointed with the result, as they could have climbed as high as seventh, but this point could be worth something in a few weeks time.