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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes' Assesment

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MARK HUGHES says his side can be proud of their performance against runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea despite Gary Cahill's last-gasp strike denying them of the point their performance deserved.


Jonathan Walters' first-half penalty looked to be enough to secure the hosts a share of the spoils following Willian's 13th minute opener.


However, England international Cahill capitalised on some hesitant defending late on to seal the Londoners maximum spoils and extend their advantage at the summit of the league table to 13 points.


Speaking following the game, the clearly disappointed Welshman said: "The overriding feeling right now is frustration and disappointment because we felt we did enough to take something from the game.


"We stood toe-to-toe with the Champions-elect this afternoon and we have run them really close, just as we did at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, so from that point of view the guys can be proud.


"People had questioned our performances against top six teams this season but I felt we answered those today up to a point.


"The only aspect that affected us was not doing slightly better in those two key moments in the game, because had we have been able to do that then it would have been a far different outcome this afternoon.


"They didn't create too much from open play to be perfectly honest, not before their second goal anyway, and we did really well in getting our guys in and around theirs and blocking off avenues.


"The first goal was disappointing because we spoke about the importance of not conceding early on, but we bounced back from that tremendously well and looked the better team in my point of view.


"What happened at the end was a real sickener for us because we probably should have cleared the ball away from that position, and having not done so they have been able to win a game that they really shouldn't have."

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