Stoke 0-4 Chelsea

A brilliant hat-trick from Alvaro Morata helped Premier League champions Chelsea to a dominant win over Stoke City, their third in succession away from home this season.

Antonio Conte's side took the lead after only two minutes, Morata showing composure to latch on to Cesar Azpilicueta's long ball over the top and slotting it past goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Stoke gifted Chelsea a second when captain Darren Fletcher, trying to chest the ball back towards his own goal, set up Pedro, who drilled home.

A wonderful run from the halfway line from Morata, ending with a smart finish from an angle, gave Chelsea their third before the Spaniard completed his hat-trick from inside the six-yard box.

Chelsea, who converted all four of their shots on target, remain in third place, three points behind leaders Manchester City, who beat Crystal Palace 5-0.

No Hazard, no worries

Conte decided not to give Eden Hazard his first league start of the season, perhaps with the Wednesday's Champions League fixture against Atletico Madrid in mind.

Hazard joined Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill on the substitutes' bench, but Chelsea outplayed the Potters from the opening whistle.

Stoke reacted well to falling behind so early, but failed to break through the regimented Chelsea defence, with no shots on target in the first half.

They struggled to deal with Chelsea's pressing and counter-attack game, but there were also lapses in concentration, with Fletcher's chest-back and Glen Johnson being caught in possession both resulting in Chelsea goals.

Chelsea have now recorded consecutive away wins in the Premier League over Tottenham, Leicester and Stoke - the first time they have won their first three away matches in the league since 2009.
Alonso and Diouf go head-to-head

Conte took Marcos Alonso off in the 59th minute, moments after the Spaniard got caught up in several tussles with Mame Biram Diouf.

With Alonso on a yellow card, he clipped the legs of Diouf and was perhaps fortunate to be still on the field.

Conte insisted the substitution was "tactical" and not made out of fear of the midfielder getting sent off, while Stoke City manager Mark Hughes said: "Maybe referee Mike Dean allowed Alonso the benefit of the doubt.

"He didn't get sent off but was taken off by manager Antonio Conte as a result of a fortuitous decision."
Man of the match - Alvaro Morata 

Man of the match - Alvaro Morata

 In a week when Diego Costa's return to Atletico Madrid dominated the headlines, Morata - Chelsea's club record £60m summer signing from Real Madrid - showcased his credentials as their number one striker.

"He played a good game, a really good performance. Now he has to continue this way to be a great striker," Conte said.

Before this match, Morata's three goals and two assists in the Premier League this season had been headers, but it did not take long for the 24-year-old to show there is more to his game.

He demonstrated a range of qualities, from his delicate touch to bring the ball down for his first goal, his mesmerising run and strength for the second and his goal poachers' poke to complete the hat-trick.

Hughes' woes against Chelsea continue - the stats
  •     Stoke have lost more Premier League games (14) and conceded more goals (42) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition 
  • Indeed, Mark Hughes has lost 16 times and conceded 47 goals as a Premier League manager in 25 meetings against the Blues - his worst record against any top-flight club 
  • The Potters have lost seven of their past 11 Premier League games at the Bet365 Stadium against the 'big six' - winning once and drawing the other three
  • Chelsea have won eight of their past nine league away games (L1), their best run over a nine-game period on the road since September 2009, when they also won eight and lost one
  • Since 2016-17, only Diego Costa (29) has been involved in more goals in all competitions for Chelsea than Pedro (15 goals 12 assists 
  • 15 of Chelsea's past 16 goals have seen a Spaniard either score or assist
  •  Alvaro Morata is the 17th player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea - only Arsenal have had more scorers (19) 
  • No player has been involved in more goals in their first six Premier League games for Chelsea than Alvaro Morata (8; 6 goals, 2 assists) 
  • Morata's strike came after only 82 seconds, the second fastest goal this season after Shinji Okazaki's for Leicester City against Brighton in August

'The score flattered Chelsea'

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: "It was a good day, a good result for us. Stoke are a really good team and very strong.

"It was very difficult to win here but we deserved to win the game. We started well and scored early and were in control of the game. I repeat, it's not simple to win away against them."

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: "They will be delighted with a 4-0 score. It has flattered them somewhat.

"We made too many mistakes against a team who can exploit that. Defensive errors took it away from us.

"We were tested a little bit when it comes to personnel. Today we were missing five centre-backs. Circumstances meant that we weren't getting anything out of it."


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