Chelsea FC set up a fifth round clash against Manchester City as Oscar’s goal proves to be the winner against Stoke City.
Jose Mourinho was clearly worried about Stoke City’s threat in this match after facing a defeat against them earlier this season and the Portuguese manager selected a strong line-up. Despite dominating possession and having most of the chances, Chelsea failed to put the game beyond doubts and in the end Oscar’s goal provided them their seventh victory in a row in all competitions. For Stoke City, this was their third defeat in a row and they will be keen to turn around this slump in form against Sunderland in the league.
The home side started the match brightly and finally Oscar provided them the lead in the 27th minute of the game from an absolute belter of a free-kick. Samuel Eto’o was fouled by Erik Pieters outside the box and the Brazilian magician stepped up to take the resultant free-kick. His wonderful shot not only managed to beat the wall, but also wrong footed Asmir Begovic, who couldn’t keep it out in the end. But despite taking this early lead Chelsea failed to score a second in the match and Stoke City were always in with a chance, but Mark Hughes’ men failed to create too many opportunities of their own as well and had only one shot on target in the whole game.
This victory has now set up a fifth round clash against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium for the London club, who will now face them twice next month. Jose Mourinho welcomed this draw and said that difficult tests like these will only bring out the best of his side.
“It’s good, that’s good. Our priority for the season is to improve and the best way to improve is difficult tests.
“We play against the best team twice in 15 days, in the best stadium, in the stadium where they win every week, smash everyone, score four, five goals every game even against the big teams like Arsenal, Tottenham, United.
“It’s a good thing for us. We are playing very well in my opinion. It’s good for us; if we lose, we lose against the best. If we don’t lose, it’s fantastic.
“We are ready to go there and enjoy. We are going to go there with a good attitude. We have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose, they are the team that was made to win.
“They feel now the same thing I was feeling here (at Chelsea) in 2004, 5, 6, 7. They have the best team and have to win and if we (Chelsea in the past) don’t it’s because we do something wrong and they must feel the same.” – The Chelsea manager said.
Mourinho was delighted with the win against Stoke City on the night and reserved special praise for Oscar, but he also felt that his side needed to be more clinical in front of the goal.
“The free-kick obviously made us happy.
“It’s always good when you see a player that, after the normal training session, dedicates some minutes every day to train a specific thing. To score a beautiful goal was good.
“It’s a bit of a contradiction because we played so well and you win with a free-kick. When you play so well you win by scoring some amazing goals in free play.
“The 1-0 doesn’t reflect the quality of our game and the dominance of our game.
“We hit the post twice. (Stoke goalkeeper Asmir) Begovic again showed how good he is. The boys played really well.
“We controlled the game since minute one and I’m happy not just with the victory, but also the performance.” – Mourinho added.