Oscar’s wonder strike secured Chelsea’s passage into the next round of the FA Cup, where the reward will be a trip to Manchester City in three weeks’ time.
The Blues dominated large parts of the game and ought to have made the score-line reflect the commanding performance more, but a combination of the woodwork and Begovic often kept Chelsea at bay.
Oscar’s opener in the 27th minute, therefore, proved decisive, curling in a majestic free-kick into the top-right hand corner. The Brazilian nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon were in not for the base of the post, whilst Schurrle could scored himself, smashing the angle between post and crossbar instead.
It did not matter in the end as Stoke’s attacking intent was surprisingly weak and the Blues now face a tasty-looking tie against the side currently one point ahead of them in the Premier League table.
Man of the Match
OSCAR: The Brazilian has been receiving plenty of praise from many journalists, but the biggest compliment will come from his manager, who, in explaining his reasons for Juan Mata’s departure, pointed very much to his desire for his team to be built around Oscar. The 22-year-old is certainly delivering, looking like a teenager but passing, shooting and tackling like a seasoned professional. 7/10
Mourinho was pleased with his side’s performance: “We played a very good game again: the 1-0 doesn’t reflect the quality of our game and the dominance of our game. It’s a bit of a contradiction because we played so well but we won with a free-kick. Normally when you play this well you win by scoring some amazing goals from open play. We had some fantastic play, individual choices, and very good collective movements against a team that is difficult.”
Stoke manager Mark Hughes conceded his former side was better: “I thought we stuck at it and we were right in it until the very end of the game, but we didn’t force the issue enough to change the game in our direction. Overall I think Chelsea on the day deserved to go through.”