Stoke make Chelsea pay penalty
27th November 2015 7.45pm
Jack Butland`s wonder save from Eden Hazard knocked out League Cup champions Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium in an epic encounter that required penalties to split the Premier League duo.
Stoke took the lead through a wonderful strike from Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters before Loic Remy snatched a late equaliser and Phil Bardsley was given his marching orders in stoppage time.
Stoke managed to battle through in extra time with 10-men before converting all of their penalties in front of the Boothen End before Jack Butland saved Eden Hazard`s spot kick to continue Stoke`s unbeaten run against Chelsea in the League Cup.
Walters put the Potters in front just after half time; he linked up with his Irish teammate Glenn Whelan, who surged into the Chelsea half and found Walters on the edge of the area, he managed to swivel on the ball before volleying the ball past returning goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and in off the underside of the bar.
Chelsea grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and tried to for an equaliser, but wasted many opportunities, missing the target time after time. Stoke looked dangerous on the counter attack and could have double their advantage through Walters, but he failed to hit the target twice.
With time running out, Premier League and League Cup champions Chelsea took the game to extra time after Loic Remy found himself unmarked at the far post and had the time to control and smash into the roof of the net to send the travelling Chelsea fans delirious.
With the game deep into stoppage time, Phil Bardsley was given his second yellow card of the game and was sent for an early bath after a late challenge on Chelsea substitute Bertrand Traore.
Extra time followed the same pattern as most of the second half, as Chelsea dominated possession and missed a number of opportunities to take the lead, whilst the Potters still looked dangerous on the counter attack, and Marko Arnautovic nearly grabbed the Potters victory but fired wide.
Stoke`s ten men had to dig deep for the 30 minutes of extra time.Mame Biram Diouf who was filling in at right back, pulled up a number of times through exhaustion but continued to track back valiantly.
Other players such as returning captain Ryan Shawcross were starting to struggle after lacking match fitness, but the Potters, willed on by the crowd managed to get to the end of extra time intact.
Penalties were taken in front of the Boothen End, with the first nine penalties all being expertly converted from both sides. With that, it meant that Eden Hazard`s penalty became a sudden death penalty, but the Belgian forward could not follow in the footsteps of the nine previous takers as his spot kick was expertly saved by Jack Butland. The England goalkeeper flew to his left and pushed the ball over the bar to send the Britannia Stadium into delirium and the Potters into the Quarter Finals of the competition.