Premier League: Chelsea wallop Stoke City 5 – 0

Drinkwater scores for Chelsea
Drinkwater scores for Chelsea

CHELSEA ruthlessly swept aside relegation-threatened Stoke with an early three-goal burst at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were 2-0 up after just eight minutes with goals from Antonio Rudiger and Danny Drinkwater – before Pedro added a third in the 23rd minute.

Willian slotted home a 73rd-minute penalty to make it 4-0, before Davide Zappacosta scored late on to complete the rout.

Nearly the entire game was contested in Stoke’s half as Chelsea dominated from start to finish.

The opener came after two minutes when Victor Moses managed to get past Ramadan Sobhi but was fouled on the edge of the box.

Willian whipped the ball across and Antonio Rudiger rose above the Stoke defence to head home.

Antonio Rudiger scored a header after 3 minutes of play
Antonio Rudiger scored a header after 3 minutes of play

The Blues were relentless in their early pressure and added a second.

Pedro’s cross was deflected only as far as Danny Drinkwater, who hit a stunning right-foot volley from the edge of the box past the helpless Jack Butland.

Only a fine piece of goalkeeping from Butland prevented Chelsea from moving 3-0 up after just 12 minutes.

Willian released Alvaro Morata, who got one-on-one with Butland – but the England keeper stood up well to block his eventual effort.

Stoke really were lambs to the slaughter and Chelsea added No 3.

Chelsea scored 3 goals within 23 minutes
Chelsea scored 3 goals within 23 minutes

Pedro, picking up a pass from 25 yards out, fired a brilliant shot past the outstretched hard of Butland.

Stoke thought they had pulled one back when Mame Biram Diouf drilled a shot past Thibaut Courtois. The striker was onside but appeared to control with his hand as he burst through.

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After the restart, Stoke ought to have pulled one back when Saido Berahino got through one on one with Courtois. But the Spanish keeper brilliantly dived low to his left to palm the ball away.

You would normally stake your house on a striker putting that one away – but not Berahino, who has not scored since February 2016!

Pedro scuffed a shot wide from distance when he looked well set from the edge of the box.

But Chelsea were kicking themselves not to add the fourth when Morata got clear of the Stoke defence but saw his shot saved by Butland.

From the resulting corner, Pedro fired in a piledriver of a shot but Butland was on hand to make another great save.

Chelsea were awarded a 73rd-minute penalty when Willian and Geoff Cameron collided.

The Brazilian picked himself up to slot past Butland.

The Blues grabbed a fifth two minutes from time when Josh Tymon could only clear as far as sub Davide Zappacosta – and the Italian drilled a 25 yarder past Butland.

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