Cahill from zero to hero as Chelsea down Stoke

Fabregas, 29, battled for game time early in the season, but has become a more important player for the runaway Premier League leader in recent matches.

Chelsea continued their seemingly irresistible surge towards regaining the Premier League title as a late Gary Cahill goal saw them snatch a 2-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday to move a provisional 13 points clear at the top.

"I think this must be Chelsea's mentality".

The 31-year-old reacted even more passionately than normal when he fired the ball home in the 87th minute as he jumped into the away section.

He stated: "I think Diego is showing to be very disciplined and showed me great commitment for the team and not himself and I want this from my players". No reunion between Costa and Ryan Shawcross was likely to end in cuddles and compliments, but many of Chelsea's first-half struggles were directly related to their striker spending more of his time wrestling opposition defenders than providing an effective focal point. "They tried to put our players out of the game by doing that".

We are desperately disappointed we did not get anything out of the game.

"He's always got that in him, Bardsley".

The move prompted Chelsea to switch to a back four for the closing stages of the game - and it paid dividends as Gary Cahill scored the all-important victor in the 87th minute.

"We didn't target Costa, he targeted our players if anything", said former Chelsea forward Hughes.

It was a moment of relief as well as jubilation for Cahill, who conceded the 38th-minute penalty that enabled Jonathan Walters to cancel out Willian's early free kick opener.

"It is still a long way to win the title", the Brazilian told the club's official website. Conte believes that his side have a winning mentality and that they can motivate themselves against any opposition. We have to look at ourselves, not the others. It was a little bit feisty, we gave everything and I can not criticise our players. "We were ready to fight and I'm pleased with this". "For this reason, we won today", said the Italian.