Chelsea battle past Stoke City to move 13 points clear

Chelsea battle past Stoke City to move 13 points clear

Chelsea's win lifts them 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League with rivals Tottenham and Manchester City yet to play, and Conte - who celebrated deliriously with the travelling supporters at the final whistle - admitted that it meant more than most.

The Blues were on top throughout the second half but struggled to break through, with Marcos Alonso coming closest when he sent a free-kick crashing onto the bar, but Cahill made amends for giving away the penalty to secure three points late on.

Gary Cahill scored a victor in the 87th minute to win the game 2-1 for Chelsea against Stoke City.

"I think that [result] will make everyone think it's Chelsea's title now", he added. There are 10 games to go.

Grant prevented it from becoming 2-0 by parrying Alonso's effort and Stoke thought they had levelled in the 34th minute when Joe Allen's corner was headed on by Cameron and then into the net by Martins Indi.

The Welshman said: "I've looked at it and they are saying there's a slight push from Berahino on Azpilicueta, but I didn't see him getting anywhere near the ball".

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The Chelsea boss was asked about Diego Costa, with Stoke having appeared to deliberately look to rile the notoriously short-fused Spanish striker throughout. The Chelsea striker threatened to boil over nearly from kick-off and Antonio Conte was going to have a keep a close watch on his hot-headed hitman, with a view to getting him out of harm's way if things got out of hand.

Stoke's misery was compounded when Phil Bardsley was shown a second yellow for catching the Spaniard late in the final seconds.

"We have got an ownership here who are very close to the players and will engage and interact with them, but that direct line isn't there and that is correct", via BBC Sport.

The defender pounced on a poor Erik Pieters clearance at a corner three minutes from time to reward Chelsea for their dominance.

"I like to think that now we need to take 21 points to be sure to win the league. We got the details of the game wrong on a couple of occasions and good teams can punish you, which Chelsea are".

Chelsea now hold a 13-point lead at the top of the with only 10 games to go - an advantage no side has ever squandered in Premier League history.