The Observer, Sachin Nakrani: “This was José Mourinho’s first experience of managing at this venue and it is one he will not look back on with even a hint of fondness. Standing inside his technical area as Stoke’s supporters wildly celebrated a late winner that was as stunning as it was unexpected, the Portuguese’s mood became as black as his coat. He scowled in silence, with the words that eventually followed only adding to the sense that this had been a dark day for Chelsea’s Special One. Mourinho spoke with a mix of fury and frustration as he reflected on how his side had failed to record a fourth league win in succession having taken the lead through André Schürrle’s neatly taken 10th-minute strike. They subsequently dominated possession and territory, with their attacking trio of Schürrle, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard causing havoc for the hosts with their clever movement behind lone striker Fernando Torres, but, as Mourinho said, failed to “kill the game”.”
The Sunday Telegraph, John Percy: “Oussama Assaidi was not even born the last time Stoke defeated Chelsea in the league but his sensational winner was enough to leave Jose Mourinho admitting “we are in trouble”. Assaidi settled an absorbing encounter with a wonderful strike in the final minute as Mourinho was left to reflect on the profligacy of the forwards he has inherited and an opportunity wasted to close the gap on leaders Arsenal. Mourinho trudged out of the Potteries with the look of a man on the brink of a mini-crisis and his response when asked how he can get his strikers to start scoring – “I don’t know” – suggested a much greater problem could be on the horizon.”
The Independent on Sunday, Simon Hart: “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.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues were beaten by a last-gasp Oussama Assaidi wonder strike at the Brittania Stadium, having taken an early lead in the game. Andre Schurrle scored inside nine minutes, but while we dominated the opening 45 minutes for long periods, we were made to pay for missed chances three minutes before the break when Peter Crouch equalised from close range. Five minutes into the second half Mark Hughes’s side took the lead through Stephen Ireland, but we were back on terms within three minutes when Schurrle scored his second of the game – and third of the season – with a wonderful effort after Stoke had failed to clear a Juan Mata free-kick. It was clear as the second half progressed that a piece of magic could prove decisive, and so it proved, as Assaidi intervened right at the death, condemning us to our third Premier League defeat of the season.”
Jose Mourinho: “After half an hour we should have been winning 3-0 or 4-0 and we weren’t.
“When you play so well and it’s so easy, you find spaces and the three players behind the striker, Hazard , Mata and Schurrle, are playing so well and creating so much, you have to kill the game. Normally you kill the game but we didn’t.
“I’ve been in football a long time and I’ve seen easy games where you don’t score. I can compare this first half to other first halves, Everton v Chelsea and Newcastle v Chelsea, they were exactly the same, with chances, chances, chances but we didn’t score one goal. In the last part of the first half against Everton we conceded a goal and we lost. At Newcastle we concede later. Here, we conceded an equaliser at the end of the first half again.
“We played amazingly well at the beginning of the game, I have to say it was like Sunderland, with the three players behind the striker playing very, very well, but we didn’t score enough goals. On top of that we made defensive mistakes and conceded. If you don’t score a lot of goals but you don’t make defensive mistakes you can win with just one goal.
“The problem was we didn’t score goals and we conceded a goal which was obviously a mistake. The third goal came in a period where we wanted to win and they didn’t want to lose, and these kind of situations can happen.
“This team is a team that has to score goals and capitalise on the production of football we are not a physical team, we are not a team with conditions to defend against physical teams so we have to score when we have the game in our hands.
“The team wants to attack and have the initiative. In the last 15-20 minutes we didn’t play well, the game they wanted was the game we gave them. It was easy for them and they were able to control it. Their goalkeeper was fantastic and he plays in every inch of the box, physically they are very strong and we gave them what they wanted.”
Mark Hughes: “It’s a great result for us. I thought it was a fantastic game – although I suppose I would say that after we’ve won.
“I just felt from start to finish we put in a real performance. We had to recover very quickly from the disappointment of going behind and I thought we showed real character and stuck at it.
“In fairness, Chelsea gave us a little bit of the run around in the first half and we had to hang on in there. That’s what we did and I thought in the second half we were excellent.
“The two goals we scored we scored in the second half were absolutely outstanding. Chelsea’s goal was good too and that was another blow, conceding so quickly after getting our noses in front.
“That was a test of character as well but we stuck at it again and the goal that won the game was outstanding.
“It’s a huge result. We’ve set a high standard for ourselves today and we need to maintain that standard. If we can do that we’ll be very, very difficult to overcome.
“I thought the stadium today was unbelievable in terms of the crowd. The supporters got right behind us and they were the difference.”
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