Chelsea remain top of Premier League, tough stretch awaits
Chelsea extended their league atop the Premier League table to seven points over a rampant Arsenal side, after beating Stoke City at Stamford Bridge 2-1 this past Saturday.
There was no campaign against Mourinho’s men this past weekend against Stoke City as The Blues were awarded a penalty – just Chelsea’s third in the Premier League this season – in the 39th minute which Eden Hazard calmly put away. Before the halftime whistle sounded, Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam scored a marvelous 65-yard strike that soared over Thibaut Courtois’ outstretched arm to level the score.
Chelsea’s super striker Diego Costa came on for Oscar to start the second half, but was quickly substituted after appearing to hurt his often-injured hamstring. Loic Remy, who was playing more as an attacking right-winger while Costa was on the pitch, was set up by Eden Hazard who ran through the Stoke defense with ease before setting up Remy for an easy tap in.
Although he was immediately substituted for Juan Cuadrado following his goal, this was Remy’s fifth Premier League goal of the season on only his fourth start.
Chelsea secured another win and extended their lead atop the table, but were once again not convincing. Following the game, Mourinho felt it necessary to defend Cesc Fabregas saying that he is ‘playing wonderfully’ and that Nemanja Matic is working his way back into condition after being suspended.
Despite the team’s lack of recent form, they are still picking up results and holding their lead on top of the table. Chelsea’s next three games, away at Queens Park Rangers, home against a revitalized Manchester United and away at a flourishing Arsenal, will be vital to their goal of lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.
Against Manchester United, a key matchup to watch is how Matic deals with an in-form goal-scoring Marouane Fellaini. Against Arsenal a week later, two player of the year candidates – Hazard, who is sitting on 12 goals and seven assists, and Alexis Sanchez, 14 goals and eight assists – will battle to prove who deserves the honor most.