Premier League

August 14, 2011


Stoke City

0 - 0


Premier League

12:30 +00:00, August 14, 2011

Britannia Stadium, England

Referee: M Halsey

  • 95'

    FULL TIME Terry nods clear and that is that. Chelsea should have won, and will point to a few credible penalty claims, but they just didn't create enough chances in front of goal. A low key start for AVB.

  • 94'

    Walters is barged by Cole and Stoke have a free kick wide right.

  • 93'

    Drogba's effort hits the wall, then he and Alex get in each other's way before Ramires drags one wide.

  • 92'

    Good work from Drogba, who wins a free kick 25 yards out and central with some neat footwork, even though he was on the deck.

  • 91'

    Stoke resorting to up and unders now.

  • 90'

    Five minutes added.....

  • 89'

    Bosingwa strikes towards goal but Lampard gets in the way and offside.

  • 89'

    Torres goes off and Benayoun has three minutes or so to make an impact.

  • 88'

    Shotton is on throw in duty with Delap incapacitated and though Cech and Mikel make a mess of it, Halsey rewards them with a free kick.

  • 87'

    Lampard is booked for throwing the ball away. A wry smirk from Frank.

  • 86'

    Kenwyne Jones trots off and Ryan Shotton comes on. He's a defender, we are told.

  • 85'

    Alex tries a howitzer from range but gets it all wrong.

  • 84'

    Chelsea will be mighty annoyed if they don't extract three points from this lacklustre match.

  • 83'

    Cech comes out to claim a lofted ball into the area after the initial free kick was cleared.

  • 82'

    A rare Stoke forray downfield yields a free kick. Box loaded.

  • 81'

    Chelsea free kick 30 yards out. Drogba strikes but Begovic saves easily enough.

  • 80'

    More tussling between Shawcross and Terry, another word from Halsey.

  • 79'

    Wilson is booked for obstructing Bosingwa, who was charging down the right flank.

  • 78'

    Torres has looked very lively today, another nice run then and a trick to win a corner.

  • 77'

    Sharp turn and shot from Torres, and a brilliant save from Begovic, but all meaningless as the striker was offside.

  • 76'

    Alex rises to nod Lampard's free kick towards goal but it is comfortable for Begovic.

  • 75'

    Time for Drogba, but Kalou makes way. Anelka, Torres and the Drog all now on the pitch.

  • 74'

    Stoke pretty much spent as an attacking force now and relying on the odd counter.

  • 73'

    Begovic is in action again as Torres dinks in for Kalou but his header is right at the keeper. Chelsea piling it on now..

  • 72'

    Superb save! Anelka tries to chip Begovic from an acute angle but the big keeper gets a fingertip on it to send the ball onto the bar.

  • 71'

    Delap hobbles off, not to be seen again for a month or so I'll wager. Danny Pugh comes on.

  • 70'

    More injury woe for Stoke - looks like Delap has pulled up with a hammy.

  • 69'

    Cole is the thick of it again, thinking he's won a corner when in fact he was offside. Fair to say Ashley is not pleased.

  • 68'

    Delap's latest chuck prompts a scramble and Walters couldn't prod it towards the net before a swarm of blue shirts fashion a clearance.

  • 67'

    Opening for Pennant on the edge of the box but Cole, his nemesis, is there to block.

  • 66'

    Cole is late on Pennant as he launches a ball upfield and despite his protestations, out comes the yellow.

  • 65'

    Chelsea sub but no Drogba: Malouda makes way for Anelka.

  • 64'

    Stoke have retreated a good ten yards in the last five minutes or so. Chelsea on top and asking questions.

  • 63'

    Fierce effort from Malouda but well held by Begovic.

  • 62'

    Surely AVB must be thinking it's Drogba time?

  • 61'

    Etherington is being led off with his left arm wrapped in his shirt by way of a sling, which indicates bad news. Dean Whitehead replaces him.

  • 59'

    Torres cuts inside and shoots but Woodgate blocks and Etherington is down and not looking good.

  • 58'

    Stoke's turn to press as Jones turns and shoots but finds Alex in the way, then Walters can't meet Pennant's cross. Here come Chelsea now...

  • 56'

    The Lampard incident involved Wilson and it looked like a certain penalty. Chelsea unfortunate.

  • 55'

    End to end stuff at the moment, a stretched game.

  • 54'

    Lamaprd wants a penalty this time and his has more credence. He looks like he toe-ends a ball past Huth and is clipped. As the ball drops Mikel volleys on goal and Begovic tips over. Great effort.

  • 53'

    Terry wins a header from a Chelsea corner, it falls at Torres' feet, he swings, misses, then falls over and claims a pen. Get Drogba on.

  • 52'

    Good cover from Bosingwa as Etherington tried to release Walters.

  • 50'

    Ramires, who has been good for Chelsea, picks up a ricochet and strikes on goal but he was off balance a little and it slides wide of the far post.

  • 49'

    Chelsea looking far more threatnening already this half as Lampard feeds Malouda and his dragged shot is cleared behind by Huth from the edge of his six-yard box.

  • 48'

    Torres goes down right on the edge of the box but nothing is given. It looked a foul but maybe just outside the box. Torres not happy.

  • 47'

    Terry clears at the near post before Whelan wastes a ball back into the box.

  • 46'

    We begin again and straight away Pennant wins a corner.


    Don't forget we'll have commentary on Manchester United's trip to West Brom later, at 16.00 BST to be precise.


    We haven't had any yet, but I'm sure the net will bulge in the second half. A good reason to download our new ESPN Goals app which allows you to watch first half action at HT and match highlights soon after the final whistle. Sadly, its for UK customers only.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME Well, hard to claim that whizzed by such was the quality. A typical Stoke game, aggressive and in the oppo's face, Chelsea with superior quality but unable to fashion anything of note against a stout defence.

  • 45'

    A mazy dribble from Torres looks like it might present him with a shot on goal, but Huth gets a leg back at the vital moment.

  • 44'

    Torres is getting some treatement from both Woodgate and Huth and will do well to comtrol his temper. He shapes up for a little stamp before the whistle goes to hand him a free kick.

  • 43'

    Terry is penalised for a challenge on Walters. Foreams everywhere.

  • 42'

    A poor cross from Bosingwa at the end of a decent run. Final third quality not quite there for either side as yet.

  • 41'

    A weak effort hobbles past the near post from Jones. Good five minutes for Stoke.

  • 40'

    From the latest Delap thrown in, Cech is awarded a free kick.

  • 39'

    Shawcross and Terry took a tumble as the ball came in. Impossible to tell who was at fault.

  • 38'

    Walters wants handball given against Terry but the ref waves play on, rightly as the replay shows, but Stoke win a corner anyhow.

  • 37'

    Cool defending from Alex who chests Etherington's cross down to Mikel at the near post.

  • 36'

    Bosingwa almost threads a ball through for Lampard but Woodgate nipped it off his heels.

  • 35'

    An overhit ball from Lampard rather sums up Chelsea's lack of cohesion in this opening half.

  • 33'

    A shame for Stoke as Jones nods down to Pennant, who returns the ball but Jones was two yards offside.

  • 32'

    Lampard swings in a free kick but Wilson nods clear.

  • 31'

    Super run from Ramires, working his way into the box and firing a shot across goal. No-one situated centrally for a tap in though.

  • 30'

    Right on cue, a shot of AVB shaking his head on the bench next to RDM (Roberto Di Matteo).

  • 29'

    Tony Pulis will undoubtedly be the happier of the two managers.

  • 27'

    Terry tries to play Torres in but as Chelsea regroup Torres works it wide to Malouda but he knocks his cross straight out of play. Oh dear.

  • 26'

    Woodgate has made it through 27 minutes without a tear, a pull or a break. Impressive.

  • 26'

    Etherington flies down the left now - Stoke are prospering down Cole's flank - but his ball inside to Walters is weak and cut out.

  • 25'

    A waste from Walters as he gets round the back and tries to fire a ball across the face, Cech parries and Torres picks up possession before Huth grabs handfuls of his shirt.

  • 24'

    Then Ramires charges into Jones and is lucky not to see a yellow. The Potteries is howling for it.

  • 23'

    Superb defensive header from Shawcross - I think - as Lampard's cross was about to be turned home by Malouda. Excellent work.

  • 22'

    Etherington is bumped over off the ball by Cole. Stoke scream for a card but a ticking of is all he'll get.

  • 21'

    Good delivery from Etherington but well done Cech, punched the first cross then claimed the rebound.

  • 20'

    Jones wins a free kick by the corner flag from Terry who just stood in his way as the ball was dinked over his head. Danger for Chelsea.

  • 19'

    I wonder what AVB makes of his first 20 minutes of Premier League football. Little to no romance involved so far.

  • 17'

    A long spell of Chelsea possession but no gaps opening up.

  • 16'

    Too casual at the back from Chelsea putting undue pressure on Cech, who boots the ball out of play.

  • 15'

    Delap's latest is flat and hard but Terry chests it away despite the inevitable handball appeals.

  • 14'

    Huth gets his bonce on this one but it loops harmelssly over the bar.

  • 13'

    Another Delap bomb approaching....

  • 12'

    Kalou goes down in the box but it was never a pen and our ref agrees. Decent jink into the box from the Brazilian though - a player who Chelsea expect big things from this year.

  • 11'

    Torres is up in a flash, turns well and creates space for himself but dribbles his shot wide.

  • 10'

    First yellow of the afternoon, a cynical kick from Shawcross on Torres.

  • 9'

    The referee had a word with Huth, Shawcross, Terry and Alex before the corner and sure enough, he blows for a Stoke free kick.

  • 8'

    Bosingwa stretches to fire in a cross but his effort skews off his boot and Begovic has to scramble to his near post to turn it behind.

  • 7'

    Typically bullish start from Stoke and Chelsea yet to find their stride.

  • 5'

    Good run from Ramires - he wins a corner on the right but Stoke clear their lines.

  • 4'

    Good climb from Alex as Jones goes for a Pennant cross.

  • 3'

    Free kick given by Mark Halsey as the big lads tussle in the box. First spell of Chelsea possession now.

  • 2'

    Chelsea clear the throw reasonably well but now Stoke regroup and win a corner.

  • 2'

    Stoke win a throw and you know what that means - enter Rory Delap stage right.

  • 1'

    Kick off


    For Stoke, Jonathan Woodgate starts in defence, alongside three other centre backs - Huth, Wilson and Shawcross. As you were on the flanks with Pennant and Etherington retained and Kenwyne Jones and Walters up top.


    AVB's first big selection call sees Torres start in front of Drogba, one issue sure to rumble on as the season continues. Anelka is also benched as Kalou and Malouda begin up top.


    Afternoon all and welcome to live coverage of Chelsea's opening game of the Premier League season, at Stoke. A stiff test for Andre Villas-Boas in his first competitive match, in fact, one of the toughest away trips you can get.