Manager Mark Hughes heaped praise on 10-man Stoke City, who dumped holders Chelsea out of the League Cup following a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday.
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland denied Eden Hazard from the spot as Chelsea lost 5-4 on penalties in the fourth-round clash at Britannia Stadium.
A shoot-out was required after Loic Remy’s stoppage-time equaliser cancelled out Jonathan Walters’ second-half opener.
Stoke were forced to play the remainder of the match with 10 men when Phil Bardsley saw red shortly after as the visitors battled fatigue in extra-time.
However, Stoke held on as Butland’s penalty heroics sent the Premier League outfit into the quarter-finals, much to the delight of Hughes.
“We are obviously delighted to go through,” said Hughes. “There’s a lot of emotion.
“I thought we had done enough [at 1-0] and if Chelsea were honest maybe they would have accepted that.
“To pick ourselves up [after Chelsea equaliser] was difficult, but then losing Phil almost immediately meant we were down to 10 men with the walking wounded.
“We just had to stay in the game. We stuck at it, showed great determination, fantastic qualities from everybody to get to penalties.
“All in all a great performance that showed the character in the dressing room.”
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