Fernando Torres drew another blank as Chelsea's slim hopes of muscling back in on the Barclays Premier League title race were effectively ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Stoke.
Torres was left on the bench by boss Carlo Ancelotti and despite being brought on for the final half-hour, he failed to make an impact as the home side came closest to grabbing all three points.
The visitors were stunned after just eight minutes when Jonathan Walters ended a run from the half-way line by blasting the opener past Petr Cech.
But after near-misses from Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, Ancelotti's brave team selection looked set to pay off when Nicolas Anelka floated in a cross and Didier Drogba headed a 33rd-minute equaliser.
Drogba hit the post in the second half but Stoke had the best chances with Cech saving brilliantly from Marc Wilson and Robert Huth, before Ricardo Fuller missed a sitter in injury time.