Frustrating start for Villas-Boas
New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas' introduction to the Barclays Premier League proved to be a testing and frustrating affair as his side were held to a goalless draw at Stoke.
The Portuguese may have raced to the league title with Porto and also won the Europa League last season, but nothing could have prepared him for the challenge he met at the Britannia Stadium.
Having withstood considerable pressure in the first half Chelsea dominated after the break, but the closest they came was when goalkeeper Asmir Begovic tipped Nicolas Anelka's shot onto the crossbar.
If Villas-Boas was under any illusion about how tough English football was then he was given a typical example by Tony Pulis' terrier-like Potters.
It was not necessarily the physicality of the challenge Stoke presented but more the incessant pressure which they put their opponents under.
There was no respite, no time for players to linger on the ball and certainly no way anyone could switch off for a second as the Potters were relentless from the first whistle.
A Rory Delap throw and a couple of Jermaine Pennant corners caused some early consternation in Petr Cech's penalty area and set-pieces continued to cause problems throughout.
But for all their endeavours Stoke's attack could not match the quality of their opponents.
Villas-Boas firmly pinned his colours to the mast by naming Fernando Torres ahead of Anelka and Didier Drogba and he would have been encouraged to see the Spain international starting to show glimpses of the form he enjoyed at Liverpool.
Frank Lampard was convinced he should have had a second-half penalty when he went down under a challenge from Marc Wilson but the England midfielder looked to be heading to ground anyway.