Date: 30th December 2017 at 4:48pm
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Chelsea eased to an emphatic win over a poor Stoke side courtesy of a five-goal blast.

Antonio Conte, aware of the busy festive programme, chose to rest Hazard, Fabregas and Bakayoko for this fixture against an injury-hit Stoke side.

Chelsea, pushing forward from the off, soon had Stoke on the back-foot taking the lead as early as the third minute when, from a set-piece, Rudiger rose highest to head home a ball in from Willian.

The home support didn`t have long to wait for the lead to be doubled, when in the ninth minute Danny Drinkwater smashed home a wonderful shot, a dipping volley from the edge of the box from a Pedro assist, with Jack Butland in the Stoke goal not even moving.

Chelsea could have made it 3-0 in the fourteenth minute when Pedro put Morata clear to go one-on-one with Butland, but the Stoke keeper did well and blocked the Spaniard`s effort.

Just before the half-way mark Pedro exchanged passes with Morata but his shot was straight at Butland in the Stoke goal.

But the third goals wasn`t long in coming when in the twenty-fourth minute Pedro did get on the score-sheet, the Spaniard netting after receiving a pass from Willian and then producing an exquisite turn and finish to surely put the game out of the reach of Stoke.

In the thirtieth minute, pushing forward, Willian almost got on the score-sheet after skipping through the Stoke defence only for Butland to produce a fine save to deny the Brazilian.

Five minutes later Morata could have added to the goal tally but the Spaniard wasn`t as instinctive as he should have been and Wimmer was able to get back and redeem himself after he`d made the original error.

Stoke, on a rare foray forward had the ball in the net when a pass from Adam was well finished by Diouf but the assistant referee noticed that the striker had used his arm in controlling the ball.

Half-Time Chelsea 3 Stoke City 0

Stoke got the action underway in the second half with neither side having made any changes during the break.

Six minutes into the half Stoke could have reduced the arrears when Adam put Berahino through, but Courtois got a hand to the strikers low shot to keep it out.

In the fifty-sixth minute Drinkwater and Alonso combined to set up an opportunity for Pedro but his shot went just wide with Butland looking beaten.

Three minutes later Morata had a chance to make it 4-0 after being put through but once again when one-on-one, Chelsea`s leading scorer couldn`t get the better of Butland.

A corner from Willian, two minutes later, saw Butland forced into action again to deny Pedro who had unleashed a good-looking shot from a clearance by Wimmer.

Willian was the next to test Butland with the winger skipping past two men before forcing Butland into making another save low down.

In the seventieth minute Willian engineered a chance for Pedro but the Spaniard misjudged his effort and it came off his shin and flew over the cross-bar.

A fourth goal finally did come, in the seventy-fourth minute when Willian was fouled in the penalty area by Cameron, Willian dusted himself down and took responsibility and made no mistake from twelve yards out waiting for Butland to commit himself before placing he ball in the opposite side of the net.

With nine minutes of normal time left, a free-kick, awarded after a foul on Willian some twenty-five yards out, saw Pedro take responsibility for a strike on goal but it as straight into the arms of Butland.

Chelsea got a fifth goal, to make it 5-0, in the eighty-ninth minute when Zappacosta scored his first Premier League goal for Chelsea, with the Italian scoring with his left-foot with a low drive after Stoke had failed to clear their lines.

Three minutes of added time were announced but Chelsea couldn`t add to their tally.

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