Chelsea inflicted Stoke’s heaviest home defeat in 28 years, as the Blues regained third spot on the Barclays Premier League.
The Potters’ 11-month unbeaten home record also came to an abrupt halt, as the Blues ran riot.
Stoke, who have let in seven in the last two home matches when before they had only conceded four in nine, hardly helped themselves, however, with Jonathan Walters having an afternoon to forget after recording two own goals.
And the hosts have never enjoyed playing the side from West London. Indeed, the European Champions have imposed both Stoke’s heaviest defeat, and now heaviest home defeat in the Premier League.
And though it was not the 7-0 drubbing seen three years ago, a 4-0 thrashing at home will have hurt the Stoke faithful.
For Chelsea, it was only the third time they have benefitted from two own goals in one game. Swindon Town in 1989, and Barcelona in 1966, were the two previous occasions.
Chelsea have not kept a clean sheet in their last four matches, so Petr Cech returning to his 400th Chelsea start was warmly received. That was one of six changes, with Demba Ba making his first league appearance for his new side, after a no-show from Torres mid-week.
The last time Cech did play, Everton scored early on, and it was nearly a repeat of that for Cech, but thankfully, the precision of Jones could not match that of Pineaar, as the Stoke forward dragged his shot wide.
Frank Lampard continued to show his worth with menacing runs and shots. Ba and Ramires all tried their best too, but Begovic was not to be beaten by a Chelsea player.
Up stepped Jonathan Walters.
Chelsea have a habit of scoring late goals in the first and second half versus Stoke, with Drogba, Malouda, Belletti and Lampard having all scored late against this opposition. But it was the Stoke frontman who gifted Chelsea a precious lead.
A floated Azpilicueta cross was met by a flying Walters head, and his picture-perfect header arrowed into the top corner with majestic precision, as Chelsea went into the half-time interval one up.
It was up to his colleagues to try to make amends, with Nzonzi and Huth going close to levelling it. Etherington brought a penalty out of Chelsea, but Sian Massey’s offside flag rendered that call meaningless.
And if one own goal was not bad enough, another was to come.
Mata’s corner was flung in to a similar area in the penalty box, and although Frank Lampard would have nodded in had Walters not been in the wrong place yet again, he did bag his second goal with a downward header.
The jokes on social media were soon aplenty, with Walters’ brace in 63 minutes just two minutes longer than Ba’s debut two, and a whole nine months longer than Torres’ first two.
In all honesty, Frank Lampard might have wished for Walters to not have been there, so he could have scored himself, but the midfielder did get another chance to become Chelsea’s second highest scorer outright three minutes later.
Juan Mata was clipped, and when Frank Lampard stepped up, he rifled his penalty Munich-esque into the roof of the net. The 33 year old has now scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League starts for Chelsea.
Stoke’s drive went down the pan with two quickfire goals, and Eden Hazard was to further compound the misery.
Cutting inside on his weaker foot, the Belgian unleashed a 30 yard drive past the hapless Begovic for 4-0. Juan Mata recorded his third assist of the match with that lay-off.
By this time, Torres had come on for Ba, who despite creating three chances for his colleague, had a quiet game in front of goal himself. Terry and Ferreira were to soon join the Spaniard in having a run out, with the former making his first league appearance in over two months.
Walters actually saw out the full 90 minutes, and did have a chance for redemption when Terry, who reluctantly regained the captain’s armband upon entry from Frank Lampard, clipped Walters.
The man himself opted to take it, but his afternoon would get no consolation, as his effort flew over the bar, as Chelsea went home with a clean sheet and a convincing win.
- Stoke City 0-4 Chelsea | Premier League match report (guardian.co.uk)
- Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4: match report (telegraph.co.uk)