Mark Hughes believes Stoke City’s commitment was too much for Chelsea in their Premier League meeting on Saturday.
The Welshman’s side were 1-0 winners against the defending champions at the Britannia Stadium, inflicting a seventh top-flight defeat of the season on Jose Mourinho’s team – who they knocked out of the League Cup on penalties last month.
Hughes thinks Stoke’s desire and determination was key to their victory, but backed Chelsea to turn their form around given the quality available to Mourinho.
“Chelsea played well today, they weren’t poor. They are struggling to get positive results but they will turn it around, no shadow of a doubt,” he told BBC Sport.
“Maybe they won’t go up against sides as committed as we are every week.
“We displayed great character, all the qualities you need to compete against one of the best teams in Europe. They have world class players.
“We are really delighted. We have beaten them twice in a short period of time and both efforts were outstanding.”
Stoke kept their second successive clean sheet with the victory over Chelsea, and Hughes singled out Ryan Shawcross for praise, stating his captain had Diego Costa shackled and would not be undeserving of an England call up.
“Ryan Shawcross loves those challenges. You have to have physicality in the Premier League and you have to match strikers like Diego Costa,” he added.
“Ryan showed his qualities, he continues to be overlooked at international level but I haven’t seen many players who understand the role like he does.”