Chelsea put five past sorry Stoke City

Jan 01, 2018, 01:18
Chelsea put five past sorry Stoke City

Salah's persistence paid off just after the restart when he fired in from close range to level and struck his second, and 17th in the Premier League this season, in the 76th after shrugging off Harry Maguire and producing a composed finish.

The Blues dominated from the very beginning despite being without their star player Hazard, who was rested ahead of next week's away clash against Arsenal.

Coupled with injuries in defence, the Potters crumbled against a rampant Blues, who cruised to the three points thanks to goals from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, a Willian penalty and Davide Zappacosta.

"We didn't have enough tools to affect a very good Chelsea side - we understood that before the game, we understood it after - but we're in better shape on Monday", Hughes said.

"In this type of game if you are able to score early the game can become easy because your opponent has to change their plan and then gives more space to your striker". We must go game by game. We started very well and we wanted that.

"We know this period tests everybody but you'd like everybody to be tested the same way", Hughes said. "We have scored less but conceded less", he added.

"I think that tomorrow we have a very hard game against Stoke City as you remember well last season in the same period we suffered a lot to beat them at home", he continued. "This was a fantastic year", the 48-year-old told reporters.

And Conte is now shifting his focus to 2018, in hopes of again securing Champions League football and perhaps putting pressure on runaway league leader Manchester City.

"We have to know that we face five tough months because we have to fight for a place in the Champions League and it won't be easy to reach this target". The Londoners now have 45 points from 21 games, one more than third-placed United, who have played the same number of games. When you play a lot of games in a few days it is important to rotate and find different solutions.

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