Chelsea 5 – 0 Stoke City [Premier League] Highlights 2017/18
Mark Hughes opted to make six changes for Saturday’s clash with one eye on their meeting with Newcastle United on January 1, and his under-strength side were swept aside.
Antonio Rudiger and Danny Drinkwater put the hosts 2-0 ahead inside the opening 10 minutes as a thrashing looked in the offing.
When Pedro added a third midway through the opening half it became a question of how many Chelsea would score, although they were relieved to see Mame Biram Diouf’s effort disallowed.
Chelsea took their foot off the gas in the second half, but still saw Alvaro Morata and Pedro denied by Jack Butland, although there was nothing the Stoke goalkeeper could do with Willian’s late penalty.
Davide Zappacosta added a fifth in the 88th minute with a drilled effort from outside the area.
Victory temporarily lifts Chelsea above Manchester United – who play Southampton later in the day – in the table ahead of their trip to Arsenal, while Stoke’s attention’s turn to an important clash with the Magpies at the bet365 Stadium on Monday.