Match ends, Chelsea 2, Stoke City 1.
Chelsea 2-1 Stoke City
- Charlie Adam scores from inside his own half
- Chelsea go seven points clear at top
- Eden Hazard nets ninth penalty from nine attempts
- Diego Costa comes on at half-time but goes off injured
Charlie Adam scored from inside his own half but could not prevent Stoke from losing, as Chelsea went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Adam hit a sensational equaliser for Stoke, spotting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois off his line and smashing in from around 65 yards out.
Earlier, Eden Hazard had stroked home a penalty for the hosts after Cesc Fabregas was tripped in the box.
Loic Remy scored Chelsea's winner after an error from keeper Asmir Begovic.
The only sour note for the home side was an injury to striker Diego Costa, who came on at half-time, but lasted only 11 minutes before he went off holding his hamstring.
With champions Manchester City not playing until Monday when they face Crystal Palace, Jose Mourinho's men capitalised by extending their advantage over second-placed Arsenal - who thrashed Liverpool earlier in the day - at the summit.
The Blues are the only side in English football's top four divisions with an unbeaten home record and despite still having to face Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in their remaining eight fixtures, they will hope to collect enough points to reclaim the crown for the first time since 2010.
|Eden Hazard has scored nine out of nine Premier League penalties - the joint most of any player with a 100% record (along with Dimitar Berbatov).|
|Hazard's penalty goal was Chelsea's 100th in Premier League history. Liverpool (102) are the only other team to reach that milestone.|
Chelsea showed true signs of being champions by edging another victory, following a 3-2 win over Hull in their last game, and Remy was the match winner again, tapping into an open net after Begovic had given the ball away.
Mark Hughes's Stoke, though, have lost their way recently, losing their last three matches, and stay 10th in the table as they look to better last season's ninth-place finish.
But they were overrun by a side who looked intent on adding another trophy to the League Cup they have already won this season.
Begovic was kept busy - by Frenchman Remy in particular - making numerous saves to keep the scoreline respectable as Chelsea threatened to run away with the match in the first half at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard kept up his 100% record from the penalty spot after Fabregas was brought down by defender Philipp Wollscheid and Oscar should have added a second.
But to everyone's surprise, they went in level after a moment of genius.
Adam's wonder goal came out of nothing, picking the ball up inside his own half, before unleashing a strike that flew over Courtois's head and into the net.
Despite the equaliser, the pattern for the second period did not change, with Chelsea missing opportunities for a more comfortable result, yet securing all three points to edge closer to the title.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
"In this moment, it is five victories and one draw. Every victory and a draw is one step ahead. The others know they have to win every game.
"For us, we have to think about ourselves and forget about others. We know we have eight matches left and we need five victories and a draw.
"It was a performance that deserved three points but the reality is that we played against a very good defensive team who defended well. They put lots of strong bodies in defensive areas and made it difficult."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes:
"We were beaten today and I was disappointed with our performance in the first half, we could have retained the ball better.
"It was an outstanding goal from Charlie Adam. He is always attempting those kinds of things because he has the confidence in his own ability. We were very encouraged by that and had a bit more control in the second half.
"It is a shame Asmir made the mistake because his performance was good. He showed good presence, he was commanding his box, but made just one mistake and that can happen. Other teams may not have made most of the error."
- 8OscarSubstituted forDiego Costaat 45'minutesSubstituted forDrogbaat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10E Hazard
- 18RemySubstituted forJu Cuadradoat 63'minutes
- 3Filipe Luís
- 7Santos do Nascimento
- 19Diego Costa
- 23Ju Cuadrado
- 17ShawcrossBooked at 31mins
- 26WollscheidBooked at 69mins
- 7IrelandBooked at 45minsSubstituted forCrouchat 78'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 6WhelanBooked at 26mins
- 16AdamBooked at 66minsSubstituted forPietersat 79'minutes
- 18DioufSubstituted forArnautovicat 62'minutes
- Jonathan Moss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Stoke City 1.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.
Peter Crouch (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Attempt missed. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Foul by Willian (Chelsea).
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Stoke City. Marc Wilson tries a through ball, but Peter Crouch is caught offside.
Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).
Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City).
Foul by Willian (Chelsea).
Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Attempt saved. Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Offside, Chelsea. Eden Hazard tries a through ball, but Willian is caught offside.
Substitution, Stoke City. Erik Pieters replaces Charlie Adam.
Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Stephen Ireland.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.
Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).
Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City).
Attempt blocked. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven N'Zonzi.
Attempt blocked. Didier Drogba (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Charlie Adam (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.
Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Charlie Adam.
Substitution, Chelsea. Juan Cuadrado replaces Loïc Remy.
Substitution, Stoke City. Marko Arnautovic replaces Mame Biram Diouf.
Goal! Chelsea 2, Stoke City 1. Loïc Remy (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Loïc Remy (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marc Wilson (Stoke City).