Chelsea 1 Stoke City 0: Di Matteo pleased with ‘scrappy’ victory

Chelsea interim boss Roberto Di Matteo reflected on a hard-fought three points after Didier Drogba's goal downed Stoke City

Premier League, 10 March 2012, Stamford Bridge
team1
Chelsea
1 - 0
team2
Stoke

Roberto Di Matteo admitted Chelsea’s performance against 10-man Stoke was far from “pretty” but expressed his delight at the result as Didier Drogba’s second-half goal sealed victory for the Blues.

Stoke had to play most of the game with 10 men after Ricardo Fuller was shown a straight red card for a stamp on Branislav Ivanovic in the 25th minute.

The home side were able to carve out a number of opportunities and hit the woodwork twice – before Drogba popped up to net his 100th Premier League goal to help the Blues close the gap on fourth-placed Arsenal to just goal difference.

“When you play against Stoke City you know it is going to be difficult to break them down because they defend well and they defend with a lot of players,” said Di Matteo after the game.

“The sending off really didn’t change much because they still had two banks of four and defended very deep, so it was just a case of getting one goal, and if you get an early goal it obviously makes it easier.

“Sometimes you have to win like this, it is not always going to be pretty. Sometimes you have to win playing scrappy.

“From the first minute there was time wasting and it was important the ref was aware of that.

“But we kept our calm and just focused on getting the goal. We hit the woodwork three times so with a little bit of luck the scoreline could have been higher.”

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