Stoke City 3 Chelsea 2 match report: Oussama Assaidi stuns Blues in the last minute

Andre Schurrle double is not enough to secure comeback after Assaidi's late strike

Brittania Stadium

It is not just Manchester United who are suffering in this gloriously unpredictable Premier League campaign. In a week of buried hoodoos at Old Trafford, Stoke City ended their own 38-year wait for a League victory over Chelsea thanks to a spectacular last-minute goal by the substitute Oussama Assaidi.

The Moroccan winger, on loan from Liverpool, had not scored a Premier League goal before yesterday but came off the bench to earn Stoke an unlikely victory as he stepped in from the left and curled a wonderful shot past Petr Cech and into the far corner. It was a goal that brought the roof off the Britannia, and will have been celebrated at Anfield too, given that Chelsea’s defeat means they slip below Liverpool into third place.

“I said he had to be ready if called on to make an impact, but I hadn’t anticipated such an impact,” said the Stoke manager, Mark Hughes.

It was an outcome that had appeared impossible during an opening half-hour dominated by the visitors, yet with just Andre Schürrle’s ninth-minute goal to show for their dominance, an exasperated Jose Mourinho suggested afterwards that he could already see it coming. After half an hour we should be winning three- or four-nil, and we weren’t,” the Chelsea manager said. “You have to kill the game.

“I can compare the first half with the first half at Everton and Newcastle,” he added, likening it to those two earlier losses. “Exactly the same – chances, chances, chances. We are not a physical team, we are not a team with the conditions to defend against physical teams. We have to score when we have the game in our hands.”

He is right about Chelsea needing to score. They have conceded more goals in 15 League games this season – 17 – than they did in the whole of Mourinho’s triumphant first season at Stamford Bridge in 2004-05. And to leak three against Stoke, who had scored just five in seven previous home League games under Hughes, underlines their vulnerability.

None of that seemed a concern when Schürrle took a pass from Jon Obi Mikel and turned Ryan Shawcross one way then the other before unleashing a low, angled shot past Asmir Begovic. Yet for all of Chelsea’s control that killer touch was missing. Ramires shot over twice, while the ineffectual Fernando Torres – later replaced by the almost as ineffectual Demba Ba – failed to reach Juan Mata’s ball across the six-yard box.

Three minutes before the break, Stoke were level. When Marko Arnautovic swung over a corner, Cech came off his line but failed to get anywhere near the ball. It dropped to Peter Crouch, who shot through Cech’s legs, past Ramires and into the net.

Hughes, celebrating his first notable victory as Stoke manager against his former club, said. “Chelsea gave us a bit of a run-around in the first half and we had to hang on in there. In the second half I thought we were excellent, and the two goals we scored were outstanding.”

The first of those arrived five minutes after the restart as Jonathan Walters shrugged off Cesar Azpilicueta on the right and fed Stephen Ireland, a substitute for the injured Charlie Adam, who bent a lovely shot in off the far post.

Chelsea responded quickly as Schürrle pounced on a half-cleared free-kick, sending a fierce drive beyond Begovic. The German might have had a hat-trick – he struck the crossbar before a calf injury forced him off – but instead the late twist came at the other end.

Line-ups:

Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Cameron, Wilson, Shawcross, Muniesa; N’Zonzi, Whelan; Walters (Assaidi, 84), Adam (Ireland, 18), Arnautovic; Crouch.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Mikel (Lampard, 70); Schürrle (Eto’o, 70), Mata, Hazrd; Torres (Ba, 60).

Referee: Jonathan Moss.

Man of the match: Wilson (Stoke)

Match rating: 8/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test