Chelsea 1 Stoke 0: Cole thrilled to win Stamford Bridge ‘battle’
Chelsea 1 Stoke 0: Match-winner Ashley Cole admits Blues were made to work hard for their victory over the Potters
Ashley Cole admitted Chelsea were made to work hard for their victory by a resilient Stoke City after the left-back’s late winner kept the Blues at the top of the table.
With neither side able to break the deadlock, Juan Mata’s sublime flick set up Cole, who dinked his effort over the on-rushing Asmir Begović to seal the three points in the 85th minute.
“It was a battle, Stoke are always physical and make it hard for us to play our football,” Cole said.
“They defend deep with 10 men, but for our goal, it was a great move and I took a chance to get into the box.
“I had a few shots in the first half and took too much time on the ball with them, but this time, the first thing that came into my brain was to dink it and I just did it.
“It’s been two or three years since I scored. It is mentally good to get a lead in the league table, last season we didn’t have a good time in the Premier League too often.”
Chelsea’s victory maintained the west Londoners’ 100 per cent start to the season, with the Blues now three points clear of second-placed Everton in the Premier League table.
And Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo felt his side were fully deserving of the three points.
“It was a fully deserved victory,” Di Matteo said. “It was one way traffic. They created a few chances from set plays and free kicks but we were good value. They are very well organised and it is what we expected.
“If you can score an early goal that makes all the difference but we had to keep going and I don’t care how late we score, as long as we score.”