VIDEO: Hughes hails Stoke’s character, defensive play in win over Chelsea

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Once known as a tough, physical team that is hard to break down, Stoke City has seen a recent transformation that focuses on playing more attacking, attractive football.

Today, they were a little bit of both.

Chelsea put in a good performance at the Britannia, but Stoke City stood strong and held on for a 1-0 win, moving the Potters up to 12th on the table.

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The goal was a bit of the new Stoke, switching the field and quickly moving the ball up the pitch, capped off by a brilliant individual effort from Marko Arnautovic.

Then there was a bit of the old Stoke, as captain and center-back Ryan Shawcross relentlessly battled with Diego Costa while Erik Pieters played through what certainly looked to be a broken nose.

After the match, manager Mark Hughes praised Stoke’s character in the win, hailing the team effort to get a big result.

I thought we displayed great character today and all the qualities that you need to compete against one of the best teams in the Premier League, if not in Europe.

Irrespective of their troubles at the moment in terms of getting results on the board, Chelsea are a fantastic team with great individual talent and world-class players.

Hughes appreciated the toughness of Pieters to play through his injury, and called for Shawcross to get a look for the England national team. The Potters’ captain missed the beginning of the season while recovering from back surgery, but has played 90 minutes in each of Stoke’s past two matches, in which the team has not conceded a goal.