Chelsea ended Stoke City’s unbeaten home record with a 4-0 win thanks to two Jon Walters own goals, a Frank Lampard penalty and a sensational strike from Eden Hazard on Saturday.
Stoke forward Walters headed past his own goalkeeper either side of the break before Lampard fired in a penalty to become Chelsea’s second-highest all-time goal-scorer with 194 goals.
The goal of the game rightly capped off the result as Hazard belted an effort home from 25 yards to give Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez a much-needed three points despite enduring more boos from the Blues support.
Stoke had not lost at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League since February — a run of 17 games — but it was up against a fired-up Chelsea side.
And the striker replaced Fernando Torres up front to make his first Premier League start for Chelsea as one of four changes to the team that started its 2-0 home defeat by Swansea City in the League Cup in mid-week. After two home defeats on the trot and with the Chelsea fans again turning their anger on Benitez, the Spaniard would have been relieved to get away from Stamford Bridge and back on the road. The Blues exerted the early pressure but it was the hosts who had the first real chance.
Andy Wilkinson’s deflected shot fell into the path of Kenwyne Jones in the seventh minute but he slid the ball wide from inside the area.
In the 23rd minute, Chelsea turned on the style amid a chorus of whistles from the home fans, who seemed annoyed as the visitors retained possession with slick passing play.
The whistles turned to gasps when Hazard played a short ball to Ba, who stretched to turn it into the path of Lampard, but the Chelsea midfielder’s low strike was blocked by the foot of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. The Stoke ’keeper was beaten right on the stroke of half-time but by one of his own players as Cesar Azpilicueta crossed and Walters put a diving header into his own goal.
The results: Aston Villa 0 lost to Southampton 1 (Lambert 34-pen); Everton 0 drew with Swansea 0; Fulham 1 (Karagounis 22) drew with Wigan 1 (Di Santo 71); Norwich 0 drew with Newcastle 0; QPR 0 drew with Tottenham 0; Reading 3 (Kebe 82, Le Fondre 88-pen, Pogrebnyak 90) bt West Brom 2 (Lukaku 19, 69); Stoke 0 lost to Chelsea 4 (Walters 45-og, 62-og, Lampard 65-pen, Hazard 73); Sunderland 3 (Larsson 12, Johnson 47, McClean 74) bt West Ham 0.