Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 14 January 2013

Hapless Jonathan Walters scored two own goals and then missed a penalty to help Chelsea to an impressive 4-0 win over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
The other two strikes came from the penalty spot - Frank Lampard, naturally, and a super strike from Eden Hazard.

The Blues started off well, but the first clear chance went to the home side on seven seven minutes when Kenwyne Jones screwed a left footer from the apex on the
six yard box across Petr Cech and just wide of the goalkeeper's left upright
With Cary Cahill missing, attending the birth of his new son few hours before kick-off, David Luiz returned to the centre-back slot, despite John Terry being fit again for
action. The skipper, out for two months, was named on the bench.
Steven Nzonzi forced Cech into a diving save on 16 minutes, just after the obligatory chants from the 2,000 travelling Chelsea fans singing the name of Roberto Di
Matteo.
While Stoke have become slicker in their passing game of late, they have reverted to trademark type against the Blues.
Bit once the away side got into their passing mode, they carved Stoke open.
On one such attack, on 24 minutes, Chelsea should have gone ahead through Frank Lampard. The midfielder ghosted into the Stoke penalty area and only the
outstretched right leg of Asmir Begovic prevented Lampard from stroking the ball into the net.
Begovic was again quick to thwart Chelsea, this time from Demba Ba. The Senegal striker, preferred to Fernando Torres, let fly with a venomous left footer on 34
minutes. But the goalkeeper parried away the effort fora corner. Ba had latched on beautifully to a long ball from Ramires which bisected the Stoke rearguard.
Five minutes before the break and following a conner-attack by Stoke, the ball fell invitingly to Glenn Whelan, just outside the Chelsea penalty area. The midfielder
struck a crisp half-volley, on target, but straight into the midriff of the perfectly-positioned Cech.
The breakthrough came right in the stroke of half-time, when a byline cross of the right by Cesar Azpilicueta was thumped into the net of the head of Jonathan Walters
from close range. Begovic was given no chance as the ball arrowed past him into the top left-hand corner of his net.
The Blues could have doubled their lead within four minutes of the restart. A long ball by Lampard was won by Ba, who outmuscled Huth. He put in a clever right-
footed byline drive which zipped across the six-yard line. In-running Ashley Cole lashed a first-time shot, which hit the side-netting.
This spurred Stoke into action and a speculative 20-yarder shot by Nzonzi stung Cech's palms as the goalkkeper tipped the ball over his crossbar.
From the resultant corner, Huth saw his powerful header inch wide of goal.
The home side thought they had a penalty on 58 minutes when Matthew Etherington took a tumble from a Azpilicueta tackle inside the Chelsea penalty area.
Referee Andre Marriner appeared to take an age before apparently pointing to the penalty spot.
However the assistant referee Sian Massey had signalled for an offside by Etherington.
Within two minutes the away side had indeed club doubled their lead and once again it was Walters who was the hapless hero.
From a Mata right wing corner, Walters and Lampard both jumped for the ball in the six-yard area. It was the luckless Stoke midfielder whose head the ball hit and it
zipped past Bergovic.
Two minutes later and the game was effectively over as the Blues scored their third.
No it wasn't Walters, instead the culprit was ex-chelsea centre-back Robert Huth who upended livewire Mata in the area. Marriner, this time accurately pointed to the
spot and Lampard duly dispatched the kick with thunderous aplomb.
With that goal, Lampard, 34, overtook Chelsea goal-scoring legend Kerry Dixon's 193 strikes for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Shell-shocked Stoke might have felt that the three goals conceded were somehow preventable but they could not have done anything about the Blues's fourth on 72
minutes.
Mata, in midfield, passed to his left the ball to Eden Hazard.
The Belgium took one touch inside to his left and unleashed a blistering left-footer, 20 yards out which gave Bergovic no chance. The ball was still on an upward
trajectory as it hit the roof of his net.
With the game won, it was time for the return of John Terry. The skipper, took the armband offered to him by Lampard as the former England centre-back replaced
Mata with 12 minutes remaining.
Substitute Torres had a chance to slot home from close range, but the Spain forward mistimed his run and the ball squirmed agonisingly wide of his left boot and was
cleared.
Deep into added time, the rustiness of Terry's two-month absent was evident as he clipped the heels of Walters inside the Chelsea penalty are?
Hoping to redeem himself, Walters took the spot kick. However, like his game he was off target, and the ball smacked off Cech's crossbar and to safety.
The Blues leapfrog Spurs into third place in the Premier League and have a chance to extend that lead when they play their game in hand and face Southampton on
Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.




Teams: Chelsea, Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Hazard, Lampard, Ramires, Bertrand, Mata, Ba
Subs, Turnbull, Torres, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Terry, Ake

Stoke City: Bergovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson, Walters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington, Adam, jones,
Subs,Sorensen, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Crouch, Shotton, Jerome

Referee, Andre Marriner.

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