Chelsea Stroll Past Stoke  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 5 Stoke City 0

Chelsea made it seven home league wins a row with a commanding 5-0 victory against Stoke, whose problems in defence intensified on Saturday.

Goals from Antonio Rudiger (4), Danny Drinkwater (9), Pedro (24), Willian (74) and Davide Zappacosta (88) sent Chelsea into second above Manchester United, who play Southampton in the late kick-off on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Stoke, who were without defensive duo Ryan Shawcross and Kurt Zouma, have now conceded 49 goals this season - a league high - and remain just two points above the drop.

Mark Hughes' side have now won only twice in 11 matches and are very much looking over their shoulder.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Courtois (7), Rudiger (7), Azpilicueta (7), Cahill (6), Moses (6), Alonso (6), Kante (7), Drinkwater (7), Pedro (8), Willian (8), Morata (6)

Subs: Bakayoko (6), Zappacosta (7), Batshuayi (6)

Stoke: Butland (6), Wimmer (4), Edwards (4), Cameron (4), Tymon (3), Fletcher (4), Adam (6), Afellay (4), Sobhi (6), Diouf (6), Berahino (4)

Subs: Choupo-Moting (5), Ngoy (3)

Man of the Match: Willian

Chelsea were ahead inside three minutes, which set the tone for a dismal afternoon for the visitors.

Willian fired a set-piece in from the right and Rudiger rose highest to nod home.

Stoke barely got out of their half in the opening quarter and were two behind on nine minutes when Pedro's cross dropped to Drinkwater on the edge of the box, where he found the top corner with a special dipping volley.

Willian supplied Pedro with a firm pass on 24 minutes and the Spaniard spun Josh Tymon before firing past Jack Butland into the far corner.

Mame Biram Diouf had a goal ruled out for handball just before the break while Alvaro Morata wasted a one-on-one with Butland.

Saido Berahino could have ended his goal drought but was thwarted by Thibaut Courtois.

Willian fired a home a penalty - one that he won himself - before Zappacosta, a second-half sub, added a fifth after a terrible headed clearance by Tymon.

Man of the match: Willian

The Brazilian identifies Chelsea strength in depth going forward. With Eden Hazard rested, Willian slotted into the free role with aplomb, creating havoc with his movement and powerful running. Pedro ran him close for the award but his yellow card for an unnecessary dive in the second-half blotted his copybook.

Opta stats

Chelsea have conceded just four goals in their last 12 Premier League games, keeping eight clean sheets on the way.

Stoke's total of 20 points after 21 games is their worst-ever haul at this stage of a Premier League season.

Willian has been directly involved in six goals in his last four Premier League games against Stoke (4 goals, 2 assists).

Five of Pedro's last seven Premier League goals have come from outside the box.

What's next?

Chelsea have a trip to top-six rivals Arsenal on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, while Stoke City have a 48-hour turnaround to contend with as they face Newcastle on New Year's Day.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet


Chelsea Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill (c), Rudiger, Moses (Zappacosta 57), Kante (Bakayoko 65), Drinkwater, Alonso, Willian, Pedro, Morata (Batschuayi 71)
Subs Not Used Caballero, Christensen, Fabregas, Hazard
Booked Pedro
Goals Rudiger 3, Drinkwater 9, Pedro 23, Willian 73 (pen), Zappacosta 88

Stoke City Butland, Edwards, Cameron, Wimmer, Tymon, Fletcher, Adam (Choupo-Moting 81), Diouf, Afellay (Ngoy 71), Sobhi, Berahino
Subs Not Used Grant, Allen, Shaqiri, Crouch, Souttar
Booked Diouf


Referee Kevin Friend

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