FA Cup - Fourth Round
Chelsea1Stoke0

Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City

Oscar's sublime free-kick was enough to end Stoke's interest in this season's FA Cup and earn Chelsea a fifth round trip to Manchester City.

The Blues, winners of the trophy four times in the last seven seasons, wasted a bundle of chances and hit the post twice in a one-sided cup tie.

But they only had Oscar's breathtaking 25-yard strike to show for their dominance and were forced to endure a nervy final few moments before securing the victory.

The Potters barely threatened but Stephen Ireland wasted a great chance before the break, smashing a shot into the side netting from close range.

Stoke's hopes of a cup shock had seemed slim and so it proved.

The visitors had won just two games since an impressive last-gasp 3-2 win, over Chelsea on 7 December, beating Aston Villa in the league and Championship leaders Leicester City in the last round of the Cup.

But six consecutive victories and 10 wins from 13 since that setback at the Britannia have taken Chelsea to within two points of the Premier League summit.

Chelsea's failure to make their first-half dominance count proved their undoing the last time the two sides met. They were once again guilty in front of goal but it did not matter.

Facing a side likely to stack up in defence and flood the midfield, it looked like just the sort of match when the guile and quality of Manchester United new boy Juan Mata would be most required.

But the Blues did not need their two-time player of the year, and once again it was the pace, direct running and trickery of Eden Hazard and Oscar that did the main damage.

With the giant figure of Nemanja Matic dominant in midfield on his (second) full debut, the hosts bossed possession and made full use of it.

Stoke were unable to contain Eden Hazard

Oscar scored a majestic 25-yard free-kick, curling the ball over the wall and into the far corner to win the game.

But it was Hazard who stood out with a breathtaking display. The Belgian tormented the Stoke defence from the first minute, sparking all that was good about a fine attacking display and earning bookings for Geoff Cameron and Marc Wilson.

Hazard and Chelsea started impressively. Samuel Eto'o shot narrowly wide inside two minutes and although Stoke could have easily have led when Peter Crouch sent a header off target soon after, it was a half dominated by the hosts.

Several promising Hazard-inspired breaks failed to lead to strikes on goal but, with the pressure mounting, Oscar put the Blues ahead - and they should have been out of sight by half-time.

Frank Lampard could not stretch out to divert the ball in from close range after a snaking run from Hazard and also shot over from 20 yards.

In between Oscar hit the post with a well-struck low cross-shot that led to Stoke's best chance of the game.

The Potters broke with good pace and worked the ball in to Ireland but he smashed a near-post shot just off target with Mark Schwarzer beaten.

However that opening provided brief respite for the visitors.

The second half started as the first ended, with Chelsea cracking the frame of the goal and Jose Mourinho doing plenty of head shaking at his side's failure to kill the game off.

A fierce strike by Andre Schurrle crashed against the post with Asmir Begovic beaten and Oscar almost added his second with a sweet first-time effort that curled just wide of the far post.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes changed tactics in the final 20 minutes, moving the ever-willing Jonathan Walters up front alongside Crouch.

The chances remained Chelsea's though. Lampard had a fizzing low shot well saved by Begovic and Eto'o inexplicably spooned an effort wide after a goalmouth melee, the striker getting his feet in a muddle five yards out with the goal gaping.

Begovic then made a brilliant diving stop to keep out a thunderous David Luiz free-kick, but ultimately Chelsea did not need the luxury of a second goal.

Check out the action from today's FA Cup ties on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 23Schwarzer
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 3Cole
  • 21Matic
  • 24Cahill
  • 4David Luiz
  • 14SchürrleSubstituted forRamiresat 70'minutes
  • 8Lampard
  • 29Eto'oSubstituted forBaat 85'minutes
  • 11OscarSubstituted forWillianat 81'minutes
  • 17Hazard

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 7Ramires
  • 12Mikel
  • 19Ba
  • 22Willian
  • 26Terry
  • 28Azpilicueta

Stoke

  • 1Begovic
  • 20CameronBooked at 32mins
  • 3PietersBooked at 83minsSubstituted forMuniesaat 85'minutes
  • 15N'Zonzi
  • 17Shawcross
  • 12WilsonBooked at 45mins
  • 10ArnautovicSubstituted forAdamat 83'minutes
  • 8PalaciosSubstituted forAssaidiat 72'minutes
  • 25Crouch
  • 32Ireland
  • 19Walters

Substitutes

  • 5Muniesa
  • 6Whelan
  • 16Adam
  • 23Guidetti
  • 24Assaidi
  • 29Sørensen
  • 30Shotton
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
40,845

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home19
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 1, Stoke City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Stoke City 0.
Attempt blocked. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stephen Ireland.
Offside, Chelsea. David Luiz tries a through ball, but Demba Ba is caught offside.
Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) because of an injury.
Attempt blocked. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Cole.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Marc Muniesa replaces Erik Pieters.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Demba Ba replaces Samuel Eto'o.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Asmir Begovic.
Attempt saved. David Luiz (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Marko Arnautovic.

Booking

Erik Pieters (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Oscar.
Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).
Oussama Assaidi (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen Ireland (Stoke City).
Attempt missed. Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea) left footed shot from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Ramires.
Attempt saved. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Luiz.
Attempt blocked. Oscar (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Frank Lampard.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Stephen Ireland.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Oussama Assaidi replaces Wilson Palacios.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Ramires replaces Andre Schürrle.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).
Attempt saved. Oscar (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Wilson Palacios.
Attempt blocked. Gary Cahill (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oscar.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Stephen Ireland.
Attempt blocked. Oscar (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Samuel Eto'o.
Attempt missed. Stephen Ireland (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Erik Pieters.
Foul by Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea).
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.
Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).
Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Attempt missed. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steven N'Zonzi.
Attempt missed. Oscar (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Andre Schürrle.
Foul by Frank Lampard (Chelsea).
Peter Crouch (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Erik Pieters with a cross.
Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Oscar.

Second Half

Second Half begins Chelsea 1, Stoke City 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Chelsea 1, Stoke City 0.

Booking

Marc Wilson (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Marc Wilson (Stoke City).
Attempt blocked. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Attempt blocked. Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilson Palacios.
Ashley Cole (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
goal

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