Ashley Cole spared the blushes of Chelsea's $200 million attack today as the Premier League leaders left it late to secure a 1-0 victory over Stoke on Saturday.
Despite Fernando Torres being supported by the trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata for the first time up front, it was left to Cole to score his first goal since 2010 in the 85th minute to clinch the points.
It could easily have been a fourth straight match without a victory for Chelsea as Torres again failed to find the net and Jonathan Walters hit the crossbar for Stoke.
But Chelsea went three points ahead of Everton and West Bromwich Albion at the summit. Chelsea remains undefeated in the competition, as well as Arsenal and Sunderland.
- Chelsea's Gary Cahill challenges Stoke City's Michael Owen during their English Premier league soccer match. Photo: REUTERS
- Chelsea's Oscar (R) is challenged by Stoke City's Michael Owen. Photo: REUTERS
- Chelsea's Fernando Torres (C) is challenged by Stoke City's Steven Nzonzi (L) and Ryan Shawcross. Photo: REUTERS
- Chelsea's Eden Hazard (C) is challenged by Stoke City's Geoff Cameron (L) and Ryan Shawcross. Photo: REUTERS
- Chelsea's Ashley Cole chips the ball over Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to score his goal. Photo: REUTERS
- Chelsea continues its perfect run in the Premier League this season. Photo: Getty Images