Half-Time Report: Chelsea, Stoke City level at break

Chelsea and Stoke City remain level following a goalless first half at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League.

Stoke City and Chelsea have headed into half time level after neither side managed to open the scoring in the first half of their Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium.

Ramires of Chelsea and Glenn Whelan of Stoke City compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England. © Getty Images

Stoke were keen to test the Chelsea defenders in the opening moments of the match as Xherdan Shaqiri tried an overhead kick less than a minute after kickoff, but the Swiss international's effort was wide.

There was a delay for a couple of minutes when Erik Pieters was left with a bloodied nose after a clash with Pedro, which initially looked like it would force the defender off, but he was able to stay on for the hosts.

Chelsea started to threaten as the half progressed, with Eden Hazard leading a counter-attack before Willian cut the ball back to Ramires, but the midfielder's finish was wide.

Asmir Begovic had to make a save to deny his old club the opening goal a couple of minutes later as Glen Johnson unleashed a powerful strike from near the penalty spot, while Jack Butland was needed down the other moments later as Ramires tried his luck on the volley.

Chelsea continued to see plenty of the ball, but Stoke looked dangerous on the break as Shaqiri fired a cross in towards Jonathan Walters, but his header was high of the crossbar.

The visitors' dominance almost paid off just before the break as Diego Costa found himself with only the keeper to beat following a back-heel from Pedro, but Butland kept it out with his legs.

Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (C) celebrates after scoring from a free kick during a UEFA Chamions league group stage football match between Chelsea and Dynamo Kiev at Stamford Bridge stadium in west London on November 4, 2015
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