By Gary Watton
December 30 2017
Stoke City famously were Chelsea's bogey team, foiling us in the League Cup two or three times and even winning six-two at the Bridge in the mid-seventies. Happily this year, the Blues have thrice defeated Stoke, demolishing the relegation strugglers with a nine-nil aggregate from this season alone. Unfortunately not every team is as weak as yesterday's visitors, but the Chelsea faithful can draw much satisfaction for now overtaking the decomposing Manchester Yawnited corpse. Above all, it was great to take a match by the scruff of the neck and deliver two knockout blows inside the first ten minutes.
Furthermore, not only did the champions accelerate into a three-nil lead inside the first half hour, but our troops, with the great Hazard being rested, treated us to some eye-catching goals. Firstly big Rudiger leapt high to head home from close range after an impeccable Willian free kick delivery. Secondly Danny Drinkwater took us all by surprise with an exquisite strike from outside the penalty area. Pedro, who could have had a hatful, slotted home his customary goal from outside of the box.
It took an awful long time for the fourth goal to arrive, but Willian expertly converted a penalty kick after incessant Chelsea pressure. Finally, substitute Zappacosta became the third summer signing to score in the afternoon when he rifled an excellent left-footed shot into the net. Only Morata was frustrated by the defiance of Jack Butland. On another day, this could have been ten-nil, but this goals avalanche was a welcome relief to a recently goal-shy team.
CHELSEA 5 Stoke City 0; half time: 3-0
CHELSEA goal scorers: Rudiger; Drinkwater; Pedro; Willian (penalty); Zappacosta
CHELSEA: Courtois; Azpilicueta; Rudiger; Moses; Cahill; Drinkwater; Kante; Morata; Pedro; Alonso; Willian. Used substitutes: Zappacosta; Bakayoko; Batshuayi
CHELSEA leading scorers:
Rudiger threepqs: qs:
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