Chelsea extended their advantage at the summit of the Premier League to 13 points after Gary Cahill’s late winner dispatched Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Cahill was the unlikely hero for Antonio Conte’s side, who had looked like dropping two points on the road until he had a decisive say by smashing home from a corner. Willian had put the champions-elect ahead early in the first half before the Potters levelled through Jon Walters’ controversial penalty, awarded for a push by Cahill on the scorer. Stoke also had Phil Bardsley sent off for a second booking in injury time. Here are three things we learned as Chelsea took another giant step towards title glory.
There is no stopping this Chelsea machine
During a sensational season for the Blues, there have been few chinks in their armour. But if ever there was a fixture which could expose any potential flaw, then it was away to Stoke. It is a traditional banana skin for clubs including Manchester United and Arsenal – but there was no slip-up here by Chelsea. They were perhaps fortunate to take the lead, with Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant not covering himself in glory when trying to keep out Willian’s free-kick. The equaliser brought the home side right back into the game, even though they had not really deserved to be level on the balance of play. But Chelsea have spirit as well as an abundance of talent in their ranks and there was always a sense that they would find a way to win the match. It took them until the 87th minute to finally score the winner but there had been a sense of inevitability about it. The 13-point lead they now hold is surely insurmountable.