VIDEO: Stoke City 0 – 4 Chelsea [Premier League] Highlights

Alvaro Morata continued his stunning start to life at Chelsea with a
hat-trick as the Premier League champions sealed an impressive 4-0
victory away to Stoke City.
Chelsea scored from their only two shots in the first half, Morata
putting them in front after just 82 seconds before fellow Spain
international Pedro netted his second goal in his last three games.
Stoke increased the pressure after the break, but former Real
Madrid striker Morata doubled his tally with a brilliant solo goal to
end home hopes of a revival.
And Morata then made it six goals in as many Premier League
appearances for Chelsea as he sealed his hat-trick with eight minutes
Antonio Conte’s side remain three points behind the two Manchester
clubs at the top of the table as they continue the defence of their
Stoke took four points from two home games against Arsenal and
Manchester United, but this heavy defeat leaves them with only one
win from their opening six fixtures.
With Kurt Zouma ineligible to face his parent club and Kevin
Wimmer out injured, Stoke fielded a patched-up defence that included
Glen Johnson as part of the back three.
And the hosts’ new backline was caught out almost immediately,
with a long ball from Cesar Azpilicueta – deputising as captain
with Gary Cahill on the bench – allowing Morata to race clear and
beat Jack Butland with a simple finish.
After a spell of relative quiet, Chelsea pounced to make it two on
the half-hour mark. Darren Fletcher’s mistake proved costly, the
former Manchester United midfielder chesting the ball straight into
the path of Pedro, who took one touch and sent an early finish
past a helpless Butland from 18 yards.
Stoke’s initial response was strong and Xherdan Shaqiri should have
done better with a free-kick from 20 yards, while Mame Biram
Diouf’s acrobatic overhead kick narrowly missed the target as the
hosts went into the break two behind.
After Joe Allen sent a drive just over, Stoke tested Thibaut
Courtois for the first time with Shaqiri’s shot from the edge of the
Conte then brought on Cahill for Marcos Alonso after the wing-
back got away with a challenge on Diouf shortly after being booked
for a foul on Allen. Mark Hughes, meanwhile, added Peter Crouch
to the mix and the veteran striker made an instant impression,
setting up a stretching Diouf to fire over.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had a penalty claim turned down after
blocked by Cahill while the defender was on the ground at the
corner of the box, before Courtois received treatment after an
awkward landing from an aerial duel.
Stoke continued to press, with Fletcher’s poor afternoon continuing
as he somehow failed to convert Shaqiri’s deep free-kick from six
It was game over at the other end with 13 minutes remaining, as
Morata capitalised on another defensive mistake. This time Johnson
was guilty, his error allowing the Spain striker to gather possession
just inside the Stoke half, charge into the box almost unchallenged
and beat Butland from a tight angle.
17 – Alvaro Morata is the 17th player to score a @premierleague
hat-trick for Chelsea – only Arsenal have had more (19).
A last-ditch Stoke clearance stopped substitute Eden Hazard’s
cross-shot from finding Morata, but the 24-year-old was not to be
denied his hat-trick.
The goal of the game saw another sub Cesc Fabregas chip a
precise pass into the box, which Azplicueta chested across goal for
his second assist of the match, with Morata bundling in from close
The in-form forward almost had a fourth before the match was
over, firing inches wide after another Fabregas pass before
Johnson’s vital goal-line clearance stopped him from converting
Victor Moses’ cross at the far post.
Crouch was perhaps fortunate only to see yellow for a high tackle
on Fabregas, but the accolades will go to Morata, with his six
goals and two assists from his first six top-flight games equalling
Diego Costa’s club record for goal involvements.


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