From minute 38th to 87th, Gary Cahill (plus referee Anthony Taylor) would be seen as a major culprit behind Chelsea's anticipated failure to beat Stoke. After the soft penalty he conceded against Jonathan Walters allowed the Potters to draw level before halftime, he was probably readying himself for the too-familiar position of being the scapegoat.
However, in true Chelsea captain fashion, Cahill didn’t pout, instead redeeming himself by scoring Chelsea's late goal. It was his 5th of the season, and the 2nd one against Stoke this term, and it gave the Blues the three points they needed. The 31-year-old was glad for making things right following his 'mistake' within our box in the first half of the match.
"When you make a mistake, I felt it was a soft penalty, but nevertheless you want to make it right in some way, somehow, so I’m delighted to get the goal. The most important thing is the win but I was delighted to get the goal. I felt I’ve showed character time and time again this season just as we have as a team, and you get the rewards sometimes."
A trip to Stoke City's home ground is never easy to any team. Although the Blues made it hard by themselves by not playing quite at their best, they managed to get the win nevertheless.
"It was exactly how we expected it. We knew it was going to be tough. I watched the City game and they frustrated them, they were really well organised and it was the same again today. They caused us a few problems but we kept trying to play and create and we did that thankfully. The wins are all that matter at this stage."
This month Chelsea only played two Premier League matches, with their third game in the competition getting postponed due to their encounter with Manchester United for the FA Cup last week. And by meeting their target of winning all of their March league games, the Blues can now sit back and enjoy seeing all the pressure of results moving onto their title rivals.
"It’s crazy we only have two Premier League games this month and we spoke about what the gap could be, we managed to get the two wins, that was the target at the start of the month and we can sit back and watch the games [on Sunday] now."
"I’m sure there will be pressure in those games and they may respond to that, but I’ve played in situations before where a team gets a result before and you have to go out. It gives that extra bit of pressure."
-Gary Cahill; Source: Chelsea FC
Now heading into a two week long international break, Chelsea next set feet on English pitches again in April. After that, our quest for the title continues.
Come on, Chelsea!