Late Cole strike saves Chelsea
Chelsea's Eden Hazard tries to get past Stoke City's Glenn Whelan (right)
In typical Stoke fashion, they made it very difficult for Chelsea to break down their defensive capabilities.
But Roberto Di Matteo will be pleased that his side got all three points, even though they had to wait until the 85th minute.
England defender Ashley Cole nudged home Juan Mata's flick from close-range to keep Chelsea top of the Premier League.
Nigerian midfielder Mikel played for 81 minutes before being replaced by Frank Lampard.
Another Nigerian, Victor Moses, had come on for Eden Hazard twenty minutes earlier and both Lampard and Moses helped give the home side more of an attacking thrust.
Stoke were not all about defending though and had some of their own scoring chances.
They had threatened to cause an upset when Jonathan Walters headed against Petr Cech's crossbar just before half-time.
Fernando Torres missed the best chance of the half for the hosts. He couldn’t quite bring down a ball on his chest and keeper Begovic smothered the danger.
Then Cech was called into action as the half drew to a close. First he denied Marc Wilson from long-range before diving smartly to save from Michael Kightly’s header.
Chelsea started the second half brightly and were denied another appeal for a penalty when Oscar burst through the middle before going down under a challenge from Huth. There was definite contact between the two although it was outside of the box, but referee Oliver opted to show a harsh yellow to the Brazilian for diving.
Then Obi Mikel wasted a great chance as he dragged his shot wide of Begovic's left-hand post while Matthew Etherington fluffed a good chance on the other end.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis threw Michael Owen on as he sensed victory in the late stages of the game, but it was Chelsea who snatched the points.