Chelsea managed to go 13 points clear at the top of the league with a victory at Stoke City. It wasn’t as easy as many had predicted, but the league leaders scored a late winner through Gary Cahill and it is looking increasingly inevitable that they will be crowned champions in May. The home side worked hard and pushed the Blues all the way. However, the result was the correct one in the end. Here are three things that we learnt on Saturday.
This was a champions-elect performance
Although Chelsea weren’t at their fluent best on Saturday, they remained dominant throughout the match and it is clear that they are much better than the rest of the top six. The Blues have been consistent since their change to a 3-4-3 formation and opposition sides still haven’t figured out how to play against it. The visitors had 64% possession and 20 shots during the match, despite playing within their capabilities. The only statistic that Stoke came out on top in was tackles won, and that is hardly a surprise considering the amount of the ball that Chelsea had.
They often say that champions are able to grind out results and score late goals to change games. Chelsea achieved both this afternoon and this could be the match where they put too much distance between them and the chasing pack. If they had dropped points at the Bet365 Stadium, it would have allowed the chasing pack to close the gap and provide them with hope of catching Antonio Conte’s side. Mentality plays a huge part during the run-in and the Blues managed to maintain their momentum thanks to a late Gary Cahill goal. It is difficult to see any team catching them now.