skip to content
Ashley Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.
Short corner taken by Didier Drogba from the right by-line.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Dean Whitehead. Direct free kick taken by Michael Essien.
Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line played to the near post.
Ricardo Fuller takes a shot. Marinho David Luiz gets a block in.
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
Close range header by Ricardo Fuller misses to the right of the goal.
Danny Collins replaces Danny Higginbotham.
Ricardo Fuller on for Jermaine Pennant. Michael Essien fouled by Jermaine Pennant, the ref awards a free kick. John Terry restarts play with the free kick.
Marc Wilson fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Marc Wilson takes the free kick.
Frank Lampard produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington, Danny Higginbotham takes a shot. John Terry manages to make a clearance.
Dean Whitehead is brought on as a substitute for Glenn Whelan. Didier Drogba has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Frank Lampard has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses left.
Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda. Close range headed effort by Fernando Torres goes wide of the left-hand post.
Jose Bosingwa leaves the field to be replaced by Branislav Ivanovic. Inswinging corner taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line, Shot by Didier Drogba from 18 yards.
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan.
Jermaine Pennant has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
Headed effort from close range by Kenwyne Jones goes wide left of the target.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jermaine Pennant on Ashley Cole. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Kenwyne Jones goes wide of the left-hand post.
Michael Essien concedes a free kick for a foul on Kenwyne Jones. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick. Marc Wilson takes a shot. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Rory Delap from the right by-line, Robert Huth takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
Ashley Cole is cautioned. Foul by Ashley Cole on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
Jermaine Pennant concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Cole. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan.
Salomon Kalou on for Ramires.
Nicolas Anelka leaves the field to be replaced by Fernando Torres.
Booking for Jose Bosingwa. Unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Jose Bosingwa results in a free kick. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Frank Lampard.
Florent Malouda takes the inswinging corner, Kenwyne Jones makes a clearance.
Jonathan Walters receives a caution. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Terry by Jonathan Walters. Free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
Didier Drogba concedes a free kick for a foul on Glenn Whelan. Danny Higginbotham takes the direct free kick.
Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the right by-line to the near post, Robert Huth makes a clearance.
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
Corner taken by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.
Didier Drogba has an effort at goal from just inside the penalty box that bounces off the post.
Jermaine Pennant takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
Nicolas Anelka has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.
Foul by Rory Delap on John Terry, free kick awarded. John Terry takes the free kick.
Jose Bosingwa challenges Matthew Etherington unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Robert Huth.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Michael Essien. Free kick crossed by Jermaine Pennant, Didier Drogba manages to make a clearance.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
Outswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Jonathan Walters.
Matthew Etherington takes the inswinging corner, save made by Petr Cech.
The referee blows for offside. Asmir Begovic takes the indirect free kick.
Marinho David Luiz takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan.
Didier Drogba finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Stoke 1-1 Chelsea.Assist by Nicolas Anelka.
Effort on goal by Didier Drogba from just inside the area clears the bar.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jermaine Pennant on Ashley Cole. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on John Terry by Glenn Whelan results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
Frank Lampard has an effort at goal. Save by Asmir Begovic.
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda, Kenwyne Jones makes a clearance.
Corner taken by Frank Lampard played to the near post, Kenwyne Jones makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Cole on Jermaine Pennant. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
Didier Drogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rory Delap. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marinho David Luiz by Rory Delap. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
Ramires takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
Shot by Florent Malouda from outside the box goes over the net.
Ashley Cole takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic. Frank Lampard takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Ryan Shawcross.
A goal is scored by Jonathan Walters from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Chelsea.
Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard to the near post, clearance made by Danny Higginbotham.
Jonathan Walters takes a shot.
Jose Bosingwa produces a cross.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant, Robert Huth has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.
Ramires concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Etherington. Glenn Whelan restarts play with the free kick.
Pulis hopes Torres drought continues
Tony Pulis fears Fernando Torres is about to break his duck at Chelsea.
Torres heads for the Britannia Stadium on Saturday without a goal in five Barclays Premier League games since his record-breaking move from Liverpool in January.
Stoke manager Pulis believes the Spain striker will rediscover his touch - but hopes that it is later rather than sooner, especially as his side are just five points above the relegation zone.
Pulis said: "Torres is a quality player and it is just a matter of time once he has settled in London and settled at Chelsea he will find his form.
"The one thing you can guarantee he will start scoring again. I just hope it is not Saturday."
Pulis is backing former Chelsea defender Robert Huth to outsmart Torres, as the German has arguably been the club's player of the year.
"Robert will enjoy it and all our lads are really looking forward to the game. He has been a very good signing for us," said the Stoke boss.
Pulis believes Chelsea are still in with a chance of retaining their crown, although they are nine points adrift of leaders Manchester United but have a game in hand.
He said: "I saw them against Manchester City and I thought they played really well. They've had problems in the middle part of the season but they still have a great chance of the title. It is wide open.
"They have some great players. (Ashley) Cole, (John) Terry and (Frank) Lampard have been cornerstones of their success over the last six or seven years and deserve a lot of credit."
FA Cup semi-finalists Stoke are unbeaten at home in their past eight games in all competitions and victory against Carlo Ancelotti's side would take them to 40 points and potential safety.
He said: "Getting to that mark would be a watershed for us. We might need more points and that's why it is important to get there as quick as you can.
"We need the Britannia to be a fortress. The remaining four home games will be sell-outs and the supporters can drive us on. We need these points.
"It has been a very interesting league this season, not just at the bottom of the table but the top of the table as well."
Pulis will monitor the fitness of John Carew ahead of the match as the Norwegian striker has been suffering from a back complaint, causing him to miss the last two matches.
Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen is also suffering from a similar injury after breaking down in the warm-up for Denmark this week.
Pulis added: "John is still a little bit sore. We are hoping if he doesn't make it this weekend he should be ready the following weekend."
Carlo Ancelotti will check on the fitness of Salomon Kalou before choosing his forward line.
Kalou, who played 90 minutes for Ivory Coast on Sunday, has a slight knock but the Blues' other stars all returned unscathed from the international break.
And boss Ancelotti has cranked up the pressure on Manchester United and Arsenal by insisting neither of them can afford to make another mistake this season.
In what some might construe as the beginning of the managerial mind games for the Premier League run-in, Ancelotti reiterated his own side needed to win their nine remaining matches to stand any chance of completing one of the great title comebacks.
But the Italian also claimed any further mistakes by United and Arsenal would see the top two pay the ultimate price and miss out on the championship.
"To make a mistake now is very dangerous," said Ancelotti.
"Make a mistake here you can lose your possibility to win something.
"It's not just for us. Also Manchester United, also Arsenal. They cannot make a mistake either."
Chelsea are nine points behind United with a game in hand and four adrift of Arsenal.
The champions retaining their title looked unthinkable a month ago as they languished 15 points off top spot.
But a perfect March, which co-incided with a serious blip by their rivals, resurrected their hopes ahead of what will be a season-defining month. And on May 8 they have to visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.
"Always, in April, at the end of the season, you have to play calmly," said Ancelotti, whose side also take on United in the Champions League quarter-finals over the next 12 days.
"For me, we are ready to play.
"Three months ago, November or December, it would have felt like a dream to arrive in this situation now.
"I don't know what we will achieve in the end, but we have a possibility to fight."
Potters inflict blow on Blues` title dream
Chelsea's Barclays Premier League title defence foundered at the Britannia Stadium where they were lucky to escape with a point from a 1-1 draw.
Jon Walters put the hosts ahead with an eighth-minute breakaway goal, only for Didier Drogba to head an equaliser just past the half-hour.
The action became more frenetic in the second half with the Potters hitting the woodwork twice and forcing several good saves from Petr Cech, while Drogba was also denied by the crossbar late on.
A draw, coming after Manchester United had turned around a 2-0 deficit to beat West Ham earlier in the day, leaves Carlo Ancelotti's team 11 point behind the leaders.
Although they have a match in hand, there are only eight games remaining and it is difficult to see where the deficit will be made up in the final six weeks.
Chelsea's #50million striker Fernando Torres, dropped after nine matches for club and country without a goal, was given half an hour at the end but hardly threatened as his drought extended to 662 minutes since he last found the net, as a Liverpool player at Wolves in late January.
The omission of Branislav Ivanovic was more curious as his strength and aerial ability would have seemed ideal against the Potters.
Stoke won an early corner and the sight of Michael Essien marking Robert Huth, with eight goals this season, appeared a strange one which almost cost them when he headed Jermaine Pennant's corner over.
But it was speed over the ground - or lack of it - which proved Chelsea's undoing.
Walters took advantage of David Luiz's hesitancy out wide on the halfway line to nip past and race into the penalty area before cutting the ball back on to his right foot and beating Cech at his near post.
Chelsea's response saw Ashley Cole's diving header clawed away by Asmir Begovic and Florent Malouda volley just over from range.
But John Terry was almost embarrassed as much as his central defensive partner Luiz had been on the opposite flank when he lost possession to Kenwyne Jones before racing back to get in a crucial touch just as the striker looked to shoot.
Mistakes seemed very much the order of the day and Begovic was relieved to see Rory Delap clear after the goalkeeper dropped Frank Lampard's brilliant 25-yard volley at the feet of Nicolas Anelka.
With Jones giving Terry and Luiz a torrid time and Stoke's tigerish midfield snapping into challenges, it seemed Chelsea were being pushed out of the game.
But the one occasion the hosts failed to close down quickly cost them.
In the 33rd minute Anelka was given too much time from a deep position and he superbly picked out the diving Drogba to head powerfully past Begovic.
With Stoke's sheer tenacity and determination it was easy to see why they have scored 78% of their goals in the second half - the most in the top flight - and they continued to pressure their visitors.
Just after the restart both Walters and Jones dummied Matt Etherington's left-wing cross and Pennant drilled in a shot which Cech saved with his legs.
Drogba was even closer when teed up by Ramires on the right of the penalty area, his shot beating Begovic but hitting the outside of the far post, and the Potters goalkeeper was hardly convincing as he batted away a long-range Lampard drive.
Stoke rattled the crossbar twice within a few seconds as first Marc Wilson's free-kick crashed back off the woodwork, possibly as a result of Cech's touch, with Huth's header from the resulting corner only being kept out by the goalkeeper's outstretched hand and the frame of the goal.
Cech scrambled away a header from Etherington, Jones powerfully nodded wide and Pennant flashed a drive off target as Stoke looked more likely to score.
Drogba continued to pose Chelsea's greatest threat and he too was denied by the crossbar with a shot on turn.
Lampard had a claim for a penalty late on when Huth leant into his back as he bore down on goal, but referee Peter Walton saw nothing wrong.
In added time substitute Ricardo Fuller's header travelled the length of the goalline but dropped the wrong side of the far post.
A point was Stoke's first against their opponents since their promotion to the Premier League, and on balance they deserved more.
"Are Chelsea right to bring back Jose Mourinho?"