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Rio Ferdinand explains why the title is Chelsea's

20 March, 2017, 17:45 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Gary Cahill

However temporarily it might have been, Chelsea were 13 points clear with 10 matches remaining.

The Londoners took the lead through the wizardry of Willian's right boot as his surprise free-kick bamboozled goalkeeper Lee Grant on 13 minutes, tucking the ball inside the near post.

"This is not the first time because it happened against Burnley".

And it was no coincidence that one of the first players he wanted to hail was Diego Costa, his famously tempestuous striker who, having received an early booking, kept his discipline - just about - under considerable provocation in the Stoke furnace.

Robson-Kanu restored West Brom's lead in the 55th minute with an opportunist finish 75 seconds after replacing Salomon Rondon and Dawson sealed the win with a thumping close-range header from a James McLean corner.

With the teams level after 70 minutes, Conte - who was without star forward Eden Hazard due to a reported muscle injury - changed his much-vaunted 3-4-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1 and Chelsea responded by upping the pressure to force a late victor.

It comes after Conte hit out at Manchester United's strategy against him in the FA Cup tie on Monday night as Hazard came under real pressure and some hefty challenges throughout the game.

"Playing my position, to have a penalty like that go against you, you can nearly see the headlines..."

"I think it is normal to try bring a player to be angry and then to react to commit another foul". For all Chelsea's flamboyance, there is no more important player to their system than the Frenchman.

Not even that could improve Costa's demeanour, though.

In May, he will kiss the Premier League trophy again and raise it aloft.

"When you want to win the league it's important not to drop points - above all when you play against not top teams, but medium or bottom teams".

There was slight confusion between Cahill, Walters and Thibaut Courtois, with the Stoke player going down.

At first glance it was a surprise to see Peter Crouch, so effective during the last meeting between these teams at Stamford Bridge in December, on the bench.

Moses spent the three seasons prior to this one out on loan with Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham before returning to Chelsea last summer. Phil Bardsley's red card in the final minutes was inconsequential in the context of Cahill's shattering strike. Also, the flinging himself into the crowd of adoring Chelsea fans.

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