The England defender started an innocuousness looking move late on, and - continuing his run - found himself in the centre forward position at the end of it, where he got on the end of a clever Juan Mata's flick to dink it over the keeper and keep Chelsea at the top of the Premier League (where they belong!).
This performance wasn't anything to write home about though, as for most of the match we looked impotent going forward. And Stoke, big and imposing as ever, were happy to cede the lion's share of possession to Chelsea in the middle of the park, comfortable as they were, with two banks of 4 strapping 6 footers between us and their goal.
Truth be known we could've gone behind just before halftime when Jonathan Walters headed onto Cech's crossbar from a devilish in-swinging free kick from the right. But luckily it missed (as Cech was well and truly beaten).
If I'm being honest I'd probably say that over the course of the game, Stoke created the better chances, and deserved to come away with a point. But we had the weight of history on our side, as the Potters last league victory at the Bridge was way back in April 1974, when I was in short-pants and Terry Jacks: Seasons in the Sun was topping the UK pop charts. And sometimes history counts in matches like these.
But that's what champions do isn't it? They grind out results and nick late goals. Even when they don't deserve them. Man Utd have been doing that for years. And Chelsea under Jose were famed for it. So here's to making this 'we have to win at all costs' a habit!
With a hundred gazillion pounds worth of flair players on display though, we really shouldn't have to count on a lucky late goals from defenders to snatch a win. Not against the likes of Stoke. Chelsea are supposedly building a team of artistry and imagination, and started this game with Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar up front. But for all our neat triangles and fancy flicks, Stoke were rarely stretched at the back.
Torres for his part looked back to his incompetent 'best' when, after chesting down a neat Mata flick, he performed a balletic air-shot from about four yards out with the goal beckoning. And, while Hazard, Mata and Oscar were buzzing around thither and yon like homing bees at Pooh's picnic, none of them troubled the Stoke keeper.
Which brings me to Victor Moses: he has to start against teams like Stoke. Up front we have four small players who are all under 4'3" (or so it appears!). And while having one or two 'Zola-esque' type players up front is ideal, you have to have some height and strength to balance out the attack. Now, while Moses is not tall (Oscar is in fact taller, at 5'10"), he is STRONG, and reminds me a bit of JFH. And, like Jimmy, Moses has a cannon of a shot on him from distance. And I'm already sick of us doing a poor man's Arsenal impression and trying to walk the ball in all the time or score 'the perfect goal'. How I long for the days when we had players who would shoot on sight!
My other bugbear at the moment is that Chelsea players are falling over like Emile 'Sack of Potatoes' Heskey! Like, WTF? When did we turn into a team of divers? We're a British team, and we do NOT dive around like we're auditioning from a Moscow Ballet production of Swan Lake. Enough already.
The other thing about this match that's worth mentioning is that David Luiz was VERY fortunate to escape a red card for a studs up challenge on Walters that would've made Dennis Wise grin with appreciation. Like many Chelsea fans I am yet to be convinced by Luiz, and rolled my eyes when I read he'd signed a new 5 year contract. Nice guy though he is, he's a liability at the back and gives the ball away more than anyone else on the team. Couple that with questionable positional sense and he's one f*ck up away from losing us the game. And we've got Mikel for that!
PS: talking about Heskey (bless), I'm reminded of this old classic:
Emile Heskey (England) 59 caps, 7 goals.
Rene Higuita (Colombia) 68 caps, 8 goals.
Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) 74 caps, 8 goals.
Unlucky for Heskey, the other two are goalkeepers... :)
Brian M Logan