Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters produced a stunning finish in the Capital One Cup game against Chelsea on Tuesday to set up an anxious night for Jose Mourinho.
A premature exit in the Capital One Cup would not have reflected well on the ‘Special One’ ahead of an encounter with Liverpool on Saturday as he continues to struggle to turn things around for the reigning Premier League champions.
There was some poor defending from the visitors, including from captain John Terry, who backed away from his rival which in turn gave Walters time and space to apply the finish and hand the hosts the lead.
It has been an issue that has haunted Chelsea all season long and has arguably been the most surprising aspect of Mourinho’s troubles given his history of putting together compact teams that are defensively sound.
However, he would have been mightily relieved to see Loic Remy score in added time to send the game into extra game while Stoke saw Phil Bardsley sent off just moments later to swing the momentum entirely in Chelsea’s favour.
Whether or not the Blues are able to make the most of their man advantage remains to be seen, but it will certainly boost morale if they can secure safe passage to the next round and provide a lift for the entire squad ahead of facing Jurgen Klopp’s side at Stamford Bridge in the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday.