Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas criticises Stoke's style

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has criticised Stoke for an overly physical style after a 0-0 draw with the Potters in his first Premier League game.

Two players were booked on either side, but Villas-Boas was aggrieved at the hosts' tactics in the penalty area.

"The amount of pushing and grabbing in the box is out of this world," he said.

"I want to draw the referees' attention to these kind of details as they say they are going to be aware of them. Maybe they need extra help."

Villas-Boas pronounced himself reasonably pleased with a point at "one of the most difficult places to visit in the Premier League", noting Stoke's impressive home record in the top flight but also an approach that he described as "a very, very particular way to play".

The new Chelsea manager is not the first Premier League boss to criticise Stoke's style.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was incensed after losing Aaron Ramsey to a broken leg following a tackle by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in February 2010, and last season he said he feared football was becoming like "rugby" after a Stoke-Tottenham game.

Stoke finished 18th in the Premier League's Fair Play league in 2010/11,external-link but they also have their defenders among top-flight managers.

Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson remarked in January that: "People have criticised their physical style of play but they stick to what they do best."

Meanwhile, Stoke boss Tony Pulis said he had no doubts Chelsea would be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

"The first half I thought we gave as good as we got then second half they got a foothold in the game and it was there for everybody to see the quality they've got and the depth they've got, when you see Anelka, Drogba and Benayoun coming off the bench," said Pulis.

"They've got the squad to do well, they'll be in the top three again this year."